Meet and Eat: Kösebasi

Meet and Eat: Kösebasi

May 5, 2011 |  by  |  Spots
About the author
Hi! My name is Faye and I will be your guide through Amsterdam for the day! Enjoys randomness chat, good banter and will help you find the best dealers in fun, food and adventure.

Our town has many places to visit for a bite and sizzle those taste buds. The Meet and Eat series will lend you a hand and help uncover the diverse cuisine of Amsterdam.

The other day I realised that I mostly eat Turkish food at 4 in the morning. Around this time I create a speech impediment, lose my sense of balance and my stomach starts rumbling due to a large consumption of alcoholic beverages. I love a good kebab or Turkish pizza, but let’s be honest: even a dead cat would taste good when you’re smashed off your clogs. Next to a teenage holiday in Turkey (which is more of a blur than reality) I never really had a proper Turkish dinner. So you can imagine I was quite excited when I was invited by Kösebasi to come try some real Turkish cuisine.

Before I would indulge myself with some good Turkish cooking I decided to do some homework. “Kösebasi” might sound like a new Pokémon character to the local Dutch individual, but it is actually a well-known Turkish restaurant chain. Kösebasi started in 1995 and is known for staying true to the traditional recipes of South Anatolia. They were voted as one of “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” and cited as “The Best Kebab Restaurant in Istanbul” by Time Magazine. In 2006 Kösebasi decided to go global and expand to Athens, Sao Paulo, Bahrain, Dubai and now Amsterdam. They also attract a famous clientele, from actor Jack Nicholson and singer Sting to (daughter of) Chelsea Clinton. After reading this impressive list of achievements, I wondered if this would be a good dining hangout for our loyal Overdose reader?


When I arrived, the red carpet was laid out and a big enthusiastic Turkish man swiftly approached me to proudly show his new restaurant. After showing me the interior he offered me several Turkish delicacies, which ranged from couscous with aubergine, beef tartar wrapped in salad, tender spicy chicken to delicious lamb wrapped in pastry. Later I’d find out I had tried Lahmacun; a traditional pidette with ground seasoned lamb, Tarsusi kebab; 100% knife minced meat, Toros; a salad made from mixed greens, Kunefe; oven baked kadaifi with a molten cheese center and many other Turkish favourites.

Every single piece of food was worth for repetition, but how much would the damage be for an average dinner? If you order a main dish the average cost is around 20 Euros, but this is without starters, desserts and drinks. If you decide to have a bite at Kösebasi’s you’ll definitely spend around 35 to 40 Euros, but keep in mind that Kösebasi is situated on the Amstel, which does offer a unique feel and adds a great view to the equation.

Overall Kosebasi was a lovely Turkish experience, which I would recommend to anyone who has a love for the Turkish cuisine and/or still needs to discover it. Just one thing… don’t go clubbing afterwards! Unless you want people to stand 10 feet away from you. The spices in the food are quite penetrating for the nostrils… to say the least.

Pictures courtesy of Ernesto Bos

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