A dinner in one of the meyhanes in the Nevizade area is part of every visit of mine in Istanbul. When alone or with my wife I usually go to either the 'Imroz' or the 'Boncuk' in the Nevizade street properly. Since they are very popular, it is not so easy to go there with a large group of friends.
For this I usually select a restaurant on the nearby Balikpazari Street with larger and usually less frequented places. One of these is the 'Degustasyon', which I tried recently again. As is so often the case, if one goes unprepared, I also had once a rather unpleasant experience here, when it had come to the bill.
So this time I passed two days before our planned visit to arrange everything - from menu to price. In this way it all turned out quite well. The table was set, the waiters quickly brought the meze-starters, on which we had agreed before. For main-course there was the choice between a lamb or chicken casserole or grilled sardines, which came fresh from the display in front.
The arrangements I had made before were with an elderly gentleman, who looked like the owner of the place and a waiter, whose sole job it is to persuade passersby into going into his restaurant. Part of the fixed price for the three-course-meal was a special price for any raki, wine or beer, but the waiters, who actually served us, were not informed about it. Nor did they know about the three main-courses that we could chose from. Everything was settled, when I called the owner. The soliciting waiter hardly knew me anymore that evening and didn't bother helping in any way.
The service in general by the two young, not very experienced waiters was quite clumsy, but everybody was quite happy with the food. Later there was live fasil-music and it turned out into a rather happy atmosphere, when a Turkish couple next to us started joining the four gypsies in their songs and one lady of our group began to dance.