Dönerci Sahin Usta serves one of the staples of Turkish cuisine and internationally famous Turkish dish — döner. It’s near the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey.
Döner shops are abundant in Istanbul like street tacos in Mexico City and street art in Melbourne. The abundance is only rivaled by the amount of mosque throughout Istanbul where the calls for prayers is a common practice. The Turkish kebab on a vertical rotisserie resembles other culture interpretation like the Arab Shawarma or the Greek gyros. Therefore, there are plenty of choices in Istanbul for döner. Dönerci sahin Usta Istanbul
On my last day in Istanbul, I realized I have yet eaten authentic döner during my visit. I craved for the visual spectacle of the rotisserie slowly turning as the grill cooks the block of meat and the juices dripping down its sides then the cook redistributing the flavor back on the meat. It’s a glorious scene for anyone who lives off a strict carnivore diet. It’s an unforgettable memory for foodies who travel across the world seeking different flavors.
I was fortunate to know someone who is an Istanbul local. She recommended Dönerci Sahin Usta cause of its popularity and quality; also, she suggested I come early because they close shop when the meat is done. Dönerci Sahin Usta is conveniently located next to the Grand Bazaar and Nuruosmaniye Mosque. It was fate calling as the Grand Bazaar and Nuruosmaniye Mosque were on my agenda for the day. Dönerci Sahin Usta is a little small crevice in a lane way leading to the Grand Bazaar’s Gate 20.
As I made my way up, there was a line of people already formed. I looked inside and the three seats were taken up by locals who didn’t seem to be moving anytime soon. Within the truck-bed-size restaurant, the Dönerci Sahin Usta three owners all had different duties — the döner cook, the vegetable cook, and the cashier. I ordered my döner with pita bread and only waited for five minutes before it was in my hands.
The döner was wrapped in a warm fluffy pita bread. The juicy slabs of meat caressed the slices of tomato and onions seasoned with sumac. The juices was flowing down the side of my mouth as I bit into the barely salted mixed of lamb and beef. It was a simple dish and epitomized Turkish street food culture. The mere $4 USD will provide memories for a lifetime.
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- Service - 5/105/10
- Presentation - 7/107/10
- Flavors - 7/107/10
- Decor - 5/105/10
- Ambiance - 7/107/10
Dönerci Şahin Usta is wildly popular among locals. It only serves doner and when it runs out it closes shop. It’s worth the visit if you’re near Grand Bazaar or Nuruosmaniye Mosque cause the quick and cheap meal.