Surely one of the best and most well known examples of the Ottoman cuisine, Hacı Abdullah is an indispensable part of our culinary history. Founded in 1888, the restaurant has hosted many famous names through history, and continues its legacy to provide Ottoman dishes, just the way we know and like them.
The first restaurant opened in Karakoy Pier, under the name Abdullah Efendi, and therefore moved up to Taksim in 1915. Since 1958, it continues its services in its current place, in the historical building on Atif Yilmaz Street in Beyoglu. Throughout history, the restaurant has passed from master to apprentice, an old Ottoman tradition, known as the Ahi Community.
The entire restaurant is decorated with pickles jars; not only creating a really nice decor, but also pointing out one of Haci Abdullah's signature products.
The restaurant will provide you with a menu, but I'd suggest you go to the counter and choose from the dishes available there. The lamb shank is an absolute favorite, so we had to order that. Again, so is the tandoori lamb, so that ended up on the table as well. Finally, our waiter came to our rescue and recommended the mixed Abdullah plate, for us to try a little bit of everything.
The tandoori lamb was the top choice of the day. The meat was extremely tender and juicy, and although it contained a lot of fat, it didn't feel heavy at all. The rice was prepared with nuts and currants, known as ic pilav in Turkish. Really oily but perfect with the lamb.
The lamb shank was supposed to be a house special, but honestly, it didn't feel any special to me. It had all the right ingredients, with a meat that had been kept waiting for a long time, making the meat really soft, but there just wasn't anything extra about it.
Composed of hunkar begendi, a meat dish made with pureed eggplant, lamb with bechamel sauce, and meat wrapped in eggplant, the Abdullah plate was good to try in the sense that it had three dishes in it. From the three, I only enjoyed the hunkar begendi, as, different from the original recipe, it was prepared with mastic. The mastic flavor worked beautiful pureed eggplant, as well as with the beef cut in small chunks.
The compotes at Haci Abdullah are as famous as the pickles and therefore a must to try. They came with our main courses, and we would take a spoon from time to time, to help balance the strong aromas of the lamb. Despite being pretty sweet, the compote was really light and refreshing; especially with the pomegranade and kiwi.
The decoration is simple, particularly in the seating area, but the restaurant has some really nice details; especially the blue glass dome and the pickles jars decorated tastefully throughout the place were gorgeous.
Bir öğlen gittiğimiz Hacı Abdullah, yerli yabancı misafiri neredeyse eşit sayıda ağırlıyor gibi gözüküyordu. Bu neden ötürüdür ki, mekan artık müşteriye doymuş; yeme içme blogum olduğunu öğrendikleri halde, bir tatlı bile ikram etme ihtiyacı duymadılar. Genellikle çoğu yerde, öyle ya da böyle, ufak bir hoşluk oluyor :).
Beyoğlu'nun bir vazgeçilmezi olmuş Hacı Abdullah, artık tarihin bir parçası oldu. Dilerim ki, onu korumayı başarır ve Osmanlı mutfağını, en güzel örnekleriyle daha bir çok restoranla devam ettirebiliriz.
Bu güzel yemekler için, içecek hariç, kişi başı 60TL ödedik.
Excluding drinks, we paid 60TL per person for lunch.