Ishtar is pleased to announce the appointment of Erdem Dibali as Head Chef

Ishtar is pleased to announce the appointment of Erdem Dibali as Head Chef

Securing the services of Erdem Dibali is quite a coup for Ishtar. For seven years Erdem studied at Mengen Anatolia, Turkey’s top cookery school, before graduating in 1996. After training at several major hotels including the Ceylan Intercontinental in Istanbul, Erdem moved to England in 1999. Before being appointed as Ishtar’s head chef, Erdem has worked in a number of acclaimed restaurants as chef de partie including Lindsay House, Windows On The World and Brasserie Roux.

Ishtar’s discrete corner location, just off Baker Street, betrays little of what lies beyond its doors. On entering, you will immediately notice a large open grill, known as an ocakbasi, the most important feature in any Turkish restaurant and responsible for producing those wonderfully cooked meats for which this style of cuisine is so famous. On the more casual ground floor, dining tables are laid around the ocakbasi so guests can see the chefs diligently preparing dishes over the hot coals and a slightly raised area towards the rear provides a slightly more serene setting.

A staircase, adorned with modern artwork with a Turkish mythological theme, leads downstairs where a bar area and larger, more refined dining room are located. The bar offers the Turkish national beer, Efes, as well as a range of original cocktails including Turkish Caipiroshka (honey infused vodka, cucumber and fresh lime) and Light Bringer (fresh berries, kiwi, vodka and raki). With terracotta flooring, black leather banquettes and crisp, white linen, the lower level offers a dining experience quite different from the more casual ground floor and reflects the modern element of the menu. Furthermore, five secluded alcoves, each seating up to 6 people, provide the ideal setting for a more intimate meal.

Erdem Dirbali brings together the best of both traditional and modern Turkish cooking. On the menu you will find typical mezze dishes such as Ispanak Tarator, Kisir and Houmous Kavurma. Main courses show a modern twist and include Poached Lamb with Pears and Apricots Cooked in their own Juices served with Cous Cous and Almond Flakes; Grilled Chicken Breast with Braised Chestnuts, Dates and Vegetables; and Sea Bream Casserole Cooked with Mixed Vegetables in a Clay Pot. However, you may well be tempted by the more simple fare from the grill and order a succulent and flavoursome sis kebab. Desserts boast a milk pudding flavoured with vanilla and pine nuts and the Turkish favourite Baklava.

From Wednesday through to Saturday live music enhances the ambience of the downstairs area and weekends plays host to some rather lively nights with additional belly dancing performances.

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Press Tickets:
Name: Chris Horton
Phone: 020 8888 8080