Featured in the Bond film The World Is Not Enough, the Kizkulesi (meaning Maiden's Tower) sits on an island at the mouth of the Bosphorus. It was variously a prison, shipping beacon, customs house and radar station before opening as a restaurant in 2000.
Crustaceans are a speciality, though the seafood salad scores higher on presentation than taste. Local smoked trout makes for a better starter. For mains the garlic prawns with winter vegetables are excellent, and the Turkish desserts are suitably sticky.
With Asia on one side and Europe on the other, the views are hard to beat. It's best to get a table looking out on Ottoman Istanbul, but better still are the panoramas from the bar at the top of the tower.
Thanks to the Turkish love of zeros, a meal for two (including wine and romantic journey across the Bosphorus) costs around 130 million lire. That may sound like a lot of money but it works out as £50. Even on live music nights you're unlikely to pay more than about £70 for two. Kizkulesi is open Tuesday to Sunday from noon-7pm for tourists and 7pm-1am for dinner. Boats leave the European side at 7pm and return at 11.30pm and 12.15am.
Kizkulesi, Üsküdar Salacak Sahilyolu, Deniz içi (00 90 216 342 4747; www.kizkulesi.com.tr)Reuse content