The neighborhood around Yusufpaşa is the place to find quick, delicious Arabic and Uyghur food in Istanbul. With so many options up and down Turgut Özal Millet Caddessi, it can be tricky to figure out where to eat. You can always go with the most famous joint, Tarbuş Food, of course. Or you can explore the myriad options around the neighborhood. That’s what I did on Monday, opting to try Ewan Restaurant, conveniently located right by Yusufpaşa Tram station.
Ewan is a newish Arabic restaurant, large and clean with lots of seating on two floors. It was an excruciatingly hot day when I dropped by, but even though the first floor seating is right next to the kitchen, it was a pleasant temperature inside.
The menu was fairly expansive, in Arabic and Turkish, but unfortunately at the time I stopped by, they didn’t have any falafel.مش معقول! Fine, fine. Whatever. Hummus and an Arabic-style dürüm, then. Soon the hummus was in front of me, a generous portion for the price, and if you like pickled vegetables, you’re really in luck here. Not being a connoisseur of the pickling arts personally (I know, I am the worst.), I only ate the pickled carrots, which were exceptional.
The hummus was great. Not too sour, smooth but with just enough bits of chickpea to give it a nice texture. There was a little too much olive oil on top but that’s not really a problem. The little chunks of fried lavaş added a nice, crisp crunch to the dish.
A few minutes later, my Arapça dürüm arrived. Unlike a Turkish dürüm, this one was lightly toasted and sliced into about eight sections. The meat was cooked nicely, though a little on the unseasoned side. The lavaş, i.e. tortilla, was nice, and the whole thing had a dollop of mayo throughout, which I could have done without. I would have preferred that yogurt sauce you get on shwarma or Turkish kebabs in other countries. Wish in one hand… Still, I really enjoyed it.
This was just my first experience at Ewan, so I don’t feel qualified to pass judgement on it. For my first impression, though, I found it quite satisfying. It will not be my last meal there.