So Zeplin is a great bar that just recently opened in Kadiköy. They’re great for a number of reasons but chief among them is they have BEER. And, like, real beer, not the poison swill Effes or the bland, underachieving Bomanti or the equally meh Tuborg, but, like REAL BEER. All different kinds. From around the world. And they’re the kind of place that takes beer so seriously they have different shaped beer glasses for every kind, and different methods of pouring. They also apparently have sandwiches and stuff, but to tell you the truth I haven’t been able to get past the BEER. They have stuff that’s better than Guinness there, guys.

No surprise, then, that they’ve been pretty much packed since they opened. I went there with my coworker Bob on its third or fourth night open and it was pretty full, but not unpleasantly so. Our waiter was a charming young Johnny Depp lookalike who immediately started flirting with me, hard, despite Robert’s presence, something that’s rather frowned upon in this macho culture. As he was carefully pouring my (rather expensive) beer into it’s special glass I commented that they really took their beer seriously.

“It’s because we’re Irish,” he said, and proceeded to tell me something about how the bar was opened that I didn’t really listen to because I was squinting at him, trying to reconcile his purported Irishness with his accent. But then, you know how sometimes people from distant parts of the British Isles can have kinda weird accents that don’t really sound like anything you’ve ever heard before? I let it slide, but when he came back I casually said,

“Where are you from?”

“Italy,” he said this time. And then, quickly, “but my English is so good because I spent a lot of time in New Zealand.”

“Oh no way!” said Bob. “I’m from New Zealand! Where abouts?”

“North,” the waiter said. “It was a small town with an unpronounceable name.”

“Oh right. Probably one of the Maori towns, then,” Bob said.

“Yes, I think it was called Maori. But anyway, I’m not here for much longer. Six months later I will go to Chicago.”

Now that six months later thing? That is a specifically Turkish mistake, and one I’ve always found it difficult to beat out of even my students because that’s how you say it in Turkish- altı ay sonra: six months later.

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“Alfredo,” he said. Shamelessly.

“Bit weird, that, wasn’t it,” Bob said as we were leaving. “Hard to tell where he came from, that Alfredo fellow. Didn’t he say Ireland first?”

“Bob, dear, you know he was lying, don’t you?”

“Oh was he?”

“His name isn’t Alfredo. I’ll bet you two Turkish lira it’s Mehmet or Mustafa.”

But I’ve always liked a charming liar.

Next time you’re in the K-köy, seriously hit up Zeplin.


This entry was posted in Drinking, Eating, Ex-pat, Istanbul, Kadikoy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Blarney

  1. Chad says:

    Bodrum has a lot of “authentic” Irish bars too, but when you walk in they’re playing Tarkan and Demet Akalin on the sound system.
    Whenever you come back to OC, notice that a few of the pizza places on the boardwalk are Turkish-owned. We asked our waitress for the owners’ names one time and she told us ” Bruno and (I think) Mario.” Needless to say, not their real names. Also, the owner for Cazbar in Mt. Vernon goes by “Alex.”

  2. Pingback: Things to do in Kadikoy on a Lazy Sunday | agent L abroad

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