Eataly is fantastic – every city should have one. It is a Mecca for all things Italian, both food and drink – it is the place to go if you need a little cheering up, and it is most definitely the place to go to do your weekly shop and your weekend shop.
Being somebody who loves food, who loves to cook and therefore loves to food shop, I have found Istanbul to be a big disappointment, as the supermarkets are awful – the ‘fresh’ fruit and vegetables always looks tired and brown, the meat is not great, the fish not fresh and store cupboard stuff limited. The only exception has been the weekly fresh produce markets which I enjoy and on the whole are fresh, but by the very nature of fresh produce, I dont necessarily want to buy a whole week’s worth of fresh produce!
That is why Eataly has made such a difference to my life here in Istanbul. Everything feels right with the world when you come out of Eataly clutching a multitude of their brown paper bags…
Eataly is a global chain – there are 26 Eataly stores in the world – 10 of these are in Italy, 13 in Japan, 2 in the USA, 1 in Dubai and then our newly opened magnificent store in Istanbul. ‘Our’ store takes up a huge space in the newly opened high-end Zorlu Shopping Centre, where it sits alongside Godiva, Jo Malone, Prada and the likes.
When you enter, it definitely has a New York feel – the whole store is divided into load of different sections – pasta, pizza, formaggio and salami, meat, fish, etc. – and each section has amazing counters where the fresh produce is displayed beautifully and available for purchase. Each section also has its own restaurant space with its own menu.
Today, as the fridge has been looking incredibly sparse since I arrived back from the UK, I decided to stock up – fresh parmeggiano, gorgonzola and mozzarella; some beautiful levrek (seabass) fillets; a leg of lamb and boned chicken thighs; a selection of salamis – I must say, the chill drawer in the fridge is looking much healthier