Hunkar was yet another totally fabulous dining experience, this time in the upscale shopping area of Nisantasi. Serving traditional Ottoman cuisine since 1950, Hunkar has the classic ambience and easy-going yet professional service of an old-school restaurant. Though its current location is deemed modern, the ambience is definitely that of an established restaurant. It also has a historical feel to it, if only because the interior is decorated with street signs from past locations. The restaurant is known for its Hunkar Begendi or meat stuffed eggplant. Chef owner Feridun Urgumu not only cooks but also comes around to chat with customers. He’s jolly and warm, adding to the appeal of the restaurant. It’s home-style Turkish cuisine and everything about the restaurant makes you feel at ease. It’s almost bizarre that this “neighborhood restaurant” is nestled in the midst of fancy antique stores, art galleries and designer boutiques. As always, the meal starts with a wide variety of cold meze, which included a wonderful dish of marinated celery root. We were a bit confused once we were ready to order our mains, but then realized that for those of us who don’t understand Turkish and are not familiar with the menu, the entrees are displayed at the counter in front of the kitchen. Besides the stuffed eggplant, we also ordered lamb served over a mashed eggplant, which is another popular dish, but I found the eggplant part rather disappointing as it was too thick and lacked flavor. The side of chard we ordered was masterfully cooked to retain freshness and flavor. Mmmm! Just thinking about this meal makes me hungry. Unfortunately, it’s not just a subway ride away.