There are a few female bartenders in Istanbul and a handful of female brand ambassadors. This is probably not the easiest task, but incredibly bold and strong. I spent one evening with one such passionate, young woman. We went to a newly opened bar, “Dirty Hands” – something you’ll inevitably have after dining here, as you eat with your hands. There’s street food from all corners of the world. A food truck in the far end of the longish space functions as the kitchen.
The street food is paired with award-winning cocktails.
Onur Balk, who is by now well-known in the mixology scene truly gets his hands dirty here by refining his drinks with housemade ingredients, culinary techniques and a spectacular presentation. He prepares one of his competition drinks for me. The spices are briefly flambéed in a small skillet, there’s some straining, shaking, and finally, the generous decoration is lit on fire on the bottom of the glass. The resulting smoke supports the flavor of his creation accordingly. It was a great pleasure for me to watch this bartender work. Along with the drinks, we savored a few delicacies from Korea, Mexico and Turkey coming out of the street food kitchen.
Here the making of a World Class Cocktail:
The cocktails, which are listed on the brightly lit neon sign, have funny names and are pure eye candy. The bar’s set-up is a bit difficult to describe. Metal is dominant, so perhaps a futuristic 50s diner might give you an idea. The chairs are made of wood and metal, and the walls are clad with metal plates. If required, the tables and chairs in the dining area can be lowered below the floor, turning the dining room into a party zone. Whoever was the interior decorator really worked his magic here. The back board consists of several small metal shelf boards, on which all the bottles are lined up. This concept – street food combined with award-winning cocktails – is sensational.