I feel sad when I see the list of most popular Istanbul restaurants at TA because most are tourist traps or if not, they have little character and Turks rarely visit them.
Al Bushra is a jewel for those who would care to visit. It is a Lebanese restaurant, not Turkish and offers Arabic food, many meat choices yet its near perfect cold mezzes are suitable for vegetarians.
It is located at the Hilton hotel, and the hotel looks tired and a bit outdated. The restaurant not great but nicely decorated, slightly oldish but we never make it a problem because the food and the view are really, really good.
The cold mezzes receive 10 points ! There are many of them and all are wonderful. You can go there just for the mezzes and be very happy.
Warm mezzes score less, much less, 5 points, there are few and not great.
Meat & Kebab score 8-9 out of 10. Score given not by myself but my meat loving friends.
Dessert...you may try künefe (KU-NE-FE) though it is not a light dessert.
As a drink I would recommend not wine but raki if you shall try the Turkish way. Ask single raki, not double. After your meal, try tea not coffee and try it together with künefe. They make great Turkish tea with little herbs and so on.
Service is quite good and prices reasonable. Hotel has a car park obviously. The view is great as I mentioned before. They have a smoking balcony within the restaurant so smokers will not suffer. They have live music on weekends.
Suitable for business or regular dinners, or for a solo diner or for friends. Not a particularly romantic place but it is not unromantic either.
Note: We normally consume light mediterranean food with lots of salads and olive oil cooked vegetables, fish etc. Arabic food is heavier, especially if you shall have kebab.
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