Turkish Kokoretsi at Sip Sak

May, 2011

Merhaba ‘Nauts!

When nighttime falls in Istanbul, the alleys of Beyoglu fill up with locals, smoking, drinking, arguing, and yes, eating meze at dozens of dimly lit sidewalk cafes. Small plates and bottles of Efes clutter the low tables with garlicky cacik, spicy kofte, and stewed eggplant. Yeah, yeah, you say: been there, done that. But if you think you know Turkish food, trust us, you don’t. Well, trust Orhan Yegen at least, the impresario, chef, showman, and owner of Sip Sak – who’s letting us take over his acclaimed (but virtually unknown) restaurant for an unparalleled Turkish feast.

“You do not know how to eat. I will teach you. I will show you how to eat. You must only listen,” instructs Yegen. And we will, since he’s rightfully considered by connoisseurs of the Levant — and by himself, of course — one of the great Turkish chefs working in the states. He’s the Doyen of the Doner Kabab, the King of the Kibbeh, the Hero of Halloumi, the Sultan of the Salatasi — just ask him … he’ll tell you.

If the grandstanding seems too much, his cooking proves he’s got a point. Yegen’s pulling out all the stops for us — going way off the menu with dishes from his childhood, a seven-course feast with a handful of things you definitely can’t get elsewhere. Just check out the menu below and you’ll see. And he’s throwing down the gauntlet: “I never advertise,” Yegen told us. “I don’t want all kinds of diners. I want only one kind of diner.” All we have to say is that he better be making a ton of kokorec (roasted lamb intestines stuffed with veal sweetbreads).

Oh, and the beer will be flowing freely. So come get soused with a side of saganaki. Let’s fill the joint up for this springtime feast — bring your friends, there’s plenty of room. This one’s not to be missed.



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New York, NY 10022
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