Konak: A café with breathtaking view

Konak: A café with breathtaking view
Saturday, January 5, 2008

The second generation behind the success of the Konak Patisserie in Nişantaşı has opened a café in the historical Galata district. The café offers the usual package of food and beverages, but seasoned with a delicious view of Istanbul

ISTANBUL – Turkish Daily News

 The Konak Patisserie in Istanbul's hip Nişantaşı district has been serving its hard-to-please clientele for the past 30 years. It has been quite successful, making a name for itself with its delicious triangular chocolate cake and candied fruits. The family behind the patisserie has opened a café in the historical Galata district of Istanbul with a breathtaking view of the historical city.

 “We're trying to take full advantage of it,” said Hasan Akı, one of the two brothers running the café. He explained that the historical building in Galata, where the café is located was bought by their father as an investment. It was his elder brother and partner in the café, Erhan Akı, who renovated the building. Erhan Akı has been careful to stay true to the historical attributes of the building and renovations have taken six years to complete.

 The entrance floor of the building serves as a café with the delicious tarts, cakes and candied fruits that the Konak Patisserie is famous for on display. It is cozy and calm, offering a welcoming atmosphere for those to walk through its big doors on a rainy winter day.


A view of old Istanbul

 Yet, one is advised to take the elevator to the top floor. The door of the elevator opens to a spacious room, smelling of sandalwood incense. It looks like the living room of a wealthy family, part Ottoman, part Western, with big comfortable arm chairs around a marble fireplace. Chandeliers hang from the ceiling and on the walls. “This is historically the old Italian neighborhood in Istanbul. The building was built in the Italian style. So we made sure we were true to the original [in the renovation],” said Erkan Akı.

 The entrance level serves as café and the top floor as restaurant. The restaurant has a nice view also but it is the terrace, which is open during the warmer summer days, that offers a breathtaking view of the historical city, the Galata Tower, and even the Bosporus Bridge.

 The food offered is typical café food. “We offer samples from around the world,” said Hasan Akı, referring to the menu with pasta, sandwiches, wraps, salads, and meat dishes. The music at the venue is mostly Turkish Classical and Western Classical.

 It is a pleasure to spend a rainy afternoon there, listening to music, sitting in front of the fireplace and watching the rain form little droplets on the windows that hardly obscure a great view. Yet there is something missing – one might like a glass of wine to complete the picture. However, customers are limited to non-alcoholic beverages. “There are many venues in the vicinity that serve alcohol. We made a choice – a choice not to serve alcohol, as we did not want to deal with people that would get drunk and cause disturbances. There are elder people and families living in the neighborhood,” said Hasan Akı.

 Konak Café is open from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. daily. It offers open buffet breakfast on Sundays.

 Galata Konak Café, Bereket Zade Mah. Hacı Ali Sok. No: 2, Kuledibi, Beyoğlu

 Phone: 0212 252 5346




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