Istanbul on the Rhine: lamb and grape leaves highlight Wiesbaden restaurant's offerings

Lamb Sac Kavurma from the Istanbul Restaurant in Wiesbaden, Germany, is lamb sauteed with onions, peppers, tomatoes and spices. It came with rice and flatbread.


By DAVID EDGE | Stars and Stripes | Published: March 25, 2021

Turkish food is often at its best when its techniques bring out the depth in otherwise humble ingredients.

Not unlike southern barbecue masters, the country's chefs take the tougher cuts of meats and use low and slow cooking to make them tender, while giving them a deep, rich flavor.

The Istanbul Restaurant has an extensive menu that offers everything from Turkish-style pizzas, doner kebabs, main courses and the decadent desserts Turkey is known for. 

Because of the coronavirus restrictions in the German state of Hessen, I chose to have my food delivered. It was still hot when it arrived.

For starters I ordered yaprak sarma — Turkish for grape leaves stuffed with a tasty mixture of minced chicken and rice — and sigara borek, fried dough filled with feta cheese and served with a yogurt sauce.

My main course was lamb sac kavurma, one of my all-time favorite Turkish dishes. Kavurma is a meat dish that has been fried or sauteed, in this case with onions, peppers, tomatoes and spices. At Istanbul, it was served with rice and flatbread, and was mouthwateringly delicious.

I don’t normally eat dessert, but I decided to try their baklava. It was made of layers of filo dough pastry and finely chopped pistachios, drenched in honey and baked to a golden crisp. It was good but super sweet. 

The prices are reasonable, and the portions are a good size.

Starters cost between 4 euros and 8.50 euros, and doners and lahmacun — Turkey’s version of pizza — start at around 4 euros for a small doner or lahmacun with salad and sauce, and go up to around 14 euros for a meal with all the fixings. Dishes for vegetarians include falafel, starting at 5 euros, and main courses start at around 8 euros and go up to around 19 euros.

Twitter: @DavidEdge96798393

Address: Michelsberg 28, 65183 Wiesbaden

Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. daily

Menu: lieferando.de/en/menu/istanbul-restaurant-wiesbaden. It’s in German, and they don’t speak English.

Information: +49 (0)611 5049557; Online: facebook.com/IstanbulWiesbaden

Yaprak Sarma from the Istanbul Restaurant in Wiesbaden, Germany, are grape leaves stuffed with chicken and rice.