Turkish food is OFTEN associated with a cheap all-inclusive vacation or greasy kebab booth. Pasha proves this to be a misconception as it serves premium class jaw-dropping and lip-smacking dishes certainly worth your while. Embark on a culinary journey to discover real Turkey – contemporary, luxurious, and tasteful
Sprawling above a downtown street that buzzes with bars and restaurants, Pasha, catches the eye. Unveiled in August, this dining spot has claimed popularity adding a new twist to the city’s food scene – it offers the most refined versions of Turkish national cuisine combined with global trends, local expectations, and a unique approach.
Warmth of Heart and Hearth
Pasha embraces us with friendliness as well as a sense of aristocracy the very moment we set foot over the threshold. Here, hospitality rules above all – actually, it is ‘above law’, Milan Osman, the restaurant’s maître d’hôtel, claims. This is apparent in every design detail, ambient element, or staff gesture.
The interior creates a feeling of cosiness and warmth owing to a rich Ottoman Empire palette of bright vibrant colours with a predominance of golden yellow and sumptuous blue. Heavy wooden tables, oriental ornaments, and handcrafted lattice chandeliers resembling the sun remind us of Istanbul – though, without the sea. It is fair enough since 60-70% of Pasha’s personnel including the chef are Turkish. For cooking, they use local products except for certain spices, cereals (rice, bulgur and lentil), and pastes delivered from their native country.
The sense of warmth is further enhanced by a large open kitchen boasting an Argentinian grill and traditional Turkish oven – fyryn, constructed out of clay, stone and metal, according to traditional rules. When turned off, it conserves heat for up to ws dough to be baked crispy and browned on both sides. Dough based specialities are a dominant feature of Turkish meals.
At Pasha, a ‘flesh eater’ can feast on a wide selection of tender meats. The other staples cover renowned mezes, cold and hot starters, catering to a variety of tastes including vegetarian. They are more like a ritual, as is raki, an aniseed infused vodka, which has the same significance and status in Turkey as sake in Japan or champagne in France.
In addition to its impressive menu, every day the restaurant treats its guests to a signature dish, for example, a whole lamb on a spit on Sundays or veal baked in spices with a salty crust.
Make sure you try
Simet Sarma (kebab with eggplant and cheese)
Lokum Burger (with cheddar cheese) 255 UAH
Pate, Pide, and Kebab
The server brings us the first appetiser – a certain type of pate. At first gulp, we unanimously agree that it is a must-eat masterpiece, being also a feast to the eye – three balls of tender yet piquant goat cheese mixed with soft feta and garnished with raspberry jam and chili pepper. Salty, sweet, and bitter tastes with spicy notes play their individual parts to create a harmonious symphony of flavours.
Our party continues as Pide, a hot starter, arrives at the table. It is a thin layer of dough – freshly cooked in the fyryn – topped with minced beef, cheese, and bell pepper. Visually similar to Italian pizza, it has its own distinctive style.
Humus with paprika
Cherry Rose Bellini
Vegetarians will definitely love the delicate zucchini-and-carrot cakes Mücver served with homemade yoghurt, which is self-sufficient in itself, being something between cottage cheese and thick Ukrainian sour cream.
Then we order Pasha Kebab, a guest favourite. Again, dough and beef are key elements of the dish. Elegantly layered in lavash, the succulent juicy meat has a mouth-watering smoky aroma of charcoalled grill pleasantly enriched with tomato salsa and pistachio crumb. To wash it down, we take a glass of Kavaklıdere Angora, authentic Turkish red full-bodied wine, which nicely compliments our main course. Nourishing hummus with (small wonder) succulent beef rounds-off tonight’s carnivorous pleasures.
Instead of desserts, we forgo sweets and decide to explore the cocktail list. Sweet and smooth Cherry Rose Bellini will certainly catch a girls’ fancy. Spice Twist is a more complicated blend that reflects, as its name suggests, the spirit of the country.
Pasha Turkish Grill
Shota Rustaveli 16A
⎯ 12.00 – 02.00
+380 50 440 5433
Pasha also features a spacious rooftop summer terrace with an autonomous kitchen and magnificent view of the Palace of Sport, Gulliver shopping mall, and the synagogue. Out-of-season now, the terrace is sure to be a fashionable space when the seasons change and the weather becomes milder.
The What’s On Check List
English Menu (partially) + English-speaking staff + Wifi + Price
WO Rating 5