I recently travelled to Istanbul in Turkey for a girls weekend away and had an absolutely brilliant time; we explored some cultured touristy places, ate at some fantastic rooftop restaurants, and visited some amazing bars. One of the places we went for dinner was Cecconi’s at Soho House and having never been to a Soho House before, I had very high expectations and I have to admit, I left feeling underwhelmed and disappointed; it definitely wasn’t the high standard I was expecting.
It started to go downhill shortly after we’d been shown to our table and seated; we had to ask for menus and a drinks menu so it didn’t really get off to the best start and had to wait a good twenty minutes for our cocktails to arrive. I wouldn’t have minded quite as much if a couple hadn’t sat down at the table right next door and were being served their third round of drinks and food before we’d even had our first round of cocktails! I’m not sure if there’s something to be said for the fact that we were a group of women who were dining without a man (unfortunately in Turkish culture, gender inequality is very different to what we are fortunate enough to enjoy in London). Luckily we were given some bread with oil and vinegar (the olive oil everywhere in Istanbul was amazing, much tastier than what we have in the UK) and tucked in quickly but despite asking for some more, it never arrived.
Cecconi’s – What We Ordered:
For starters we ordered a few dishes to share, including some gnocchi with gorgonzola cheese, buretta with a tomato salad and zucchini flowers which were stuffed with ricotta cheese (cheesy much?!). The pasta was tasty, but unfortunately the gorgonzola was too strong and overpowering (and I love blue cheese), the buretta was tasty but whenever I’ve ordered it elsewhere it always came with some toasted bread and it was served on its own which was slightly disappointing (I did ask for extra bread but it never turned up). The zucchini flowers were tasty but it seemed that there was more ricotta cheese than zucchini.
For our main meal, I opted for a pizza which was good but I’d describe it as fairly average. My friends chose the veal Milanese which was quite dry apparently and pasta bolognese which was good. We accompanied this with a bottle of prosecco before ordering espresso martinis and a baileys for me instead of coffees and ordered a chocolate mousse cake for dessert with four spoons. In all honesty this was really tasty and we soon polished it off.
What really let Cecconi’s down was the service was frankly terrible and we didn’t leave a tip – I was actually quite shocked when a waiter asked for a tip as I’ve always felt it should be discretionary so we explained that we didn’t feel that the service had been very good and rather than apologising or asking what he could do to help or improve our experience, the waiter simply walked off!
Admittedly, the setting was simply stunning, the restaurant was outside with trees covered in twinkle lights so it really was a beautiful setting – perfect for a romantic date night but I wouldn’t recommend it and certainly won’t be going back.
Cecconi’s, Istanbul – 2/5
The food was fairly average but the service was what really let it down. I’m open minded enough that I’d still consider visiting Cecconi’s in London but I wouldn’t recommend the one in Istanbul.
Food – 2/5
Service – 1/5
Decor / Ambience – 4/5
The total cost for one person was £50 including drinks.
Have you visited Cecconi’s before? Feeling Inspired? Check out my London Restaurant Hit List!
Meşrutiyet Cd, No:56