Mitte Karakoy — Istanbul, Turkey
Once the last marquee has been taken down, it’s sometimes difficult to work out just what to do with a historic theatre building, especially the public spaces. Happily, many have fine bones by way of high ceilings, easy street access, and strong proportions – all attributes that Istanbul-based interior designer Sami Savatli has accentuated in the newly minted Mitte Karakoy restaurant.
Set in Istanbul’s Karakoy hipster quarter, the ground floor of the old theatre has been reimagined as a spacious, light-filled cocktail bar and restaurant that is two parts French art deco and one part Keith Haring.
Very confidently, Savatli imbues the space with a light modern touch whilst emphasising the buildings heritage by using Italian terrazzo flooring, handcrafted ceramics, brass lamps, raw iron-legged tables, and a dramatic ceiling embedded with 166 wooden blocks of abstract designs, that are hand-painted with ink and gold leaf.
The somewhat eclectic menu echoes Istanbul’s straddle of East and West, executive chef Irem Esen soaking up the flavours of India, Indonesia, Japan and China to deliver tacos and beef tartar laced with truffled soya sauce, alongside bulgogi noodles, dim sum and beef udon fried Hokkien-styled. §