Çimdik Mantı, or the hidden gem of Levent

The place: Çimdik Mantı
The source: It’s right by my office
The offerings: soup, salad, mantı, dessert
Price range: 15 TL for soup and mantı
The pros: The best ayva tatlısı in all of Istanbul
The cons: None – I love this place!


Dreading another lunch at Kanyon or Metrocity? Can’t find a spot at Küçük Ev in Levent Carşı? Need a quick, quality meal? Look no further than Çimdik Mantı. It’s tucked away on the corner of Levent Caddesi and Gonca Sokak, a two minute walk from the Levent metro exit.

The decor is simple, the service quick and the menu brief – all great things in my opinion. Although the place makes good mantı (it’s a mantı restaurant after all), the real star is the restaurant’s ayva tatlısı (quince dessert). I’ve been a lover of ayva tatlısı ever since I tasted it at one of my friend’s houses, but this ayva tatlısı takes the cake. It’s not too sweet, the quince is smooth, and it’s topped with a generous helping of kaymak (clotted cream). I had been raving about the dessert to Gürkan for a couple of weeks until he went with a  group of colleagues many of whom ordered up a second helping of ayva tatlısı because it was just that good.

Even without dessert, the mantı is reason enough to visit the restaurant. Sabırtaşı used to be my favorite mantı restaurant, but the portion sizes have been so drastically downsized that Çimdik Mantı is my new go-to mantı place. Each table is stocked up with the obligatory spices of red pepper and oregano – sumac also makes an appearance. The owner told me you can’t have mantı without sumac so I poured it on and I was pleasantly surprised with the result (& happy to discover a new use for sumac!) The broccoli soup is also highly recommended – it comes piping hot and actually has real chunks of broccoli in it.

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Piping hot broccoli soup

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Kayseri style mantı

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Best ayva tatlısı in all of Istanbul

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The offerings

What’s coming next?

Thanks to everyone who has given me such great feedback on my blog! This week has been full of activity, but I am hoping to get a few more reviews posted over the weekend.

Here are the restaurants/cafes/pubs  I have visited in the past few weeks that I am still planning to write reviews on:

Kunefis – Besiktas

Pando Kaymak – Besiktas

Asim Usta doner – Besiktas

Sur Ocakbasi – Fatih

45lik – Beyoglu

Cukurcuma 49 – Beyoglu

Tarhun Lokanta – Kadikoy

Fazil Bey’s – Kadikoy

Cimdik Manti – Levent

Some of my colleagues recommended me a few more, so I am hoping that this weekend is full of new discoveries.

Please help me add to my list by posting some names of your favorite restaurants in the comments section. I’ll give you a shout out in my review!