Madalyalı Restaurant | There are a number of people in İstanbul who have migrated from Sivas but, quite interestingly, the number of restaurants offering their local dishes are only at about a dozen. But a few of them do the job right.
Madalyalı Restaurant (Medallion Restaurant), located amongst the pine trees on the road to Kayışdağı, offers tastes and an ambiance that I have been looking for for many years. I am actually sad that I had not discovered this place earlier. The place is made of wood and feels authentic, simple and warm. By the time you walk in, the warmth of the stove welcomes you. Sebahattin Yılmaz, owner of the place, is using his expertise in dairy production to his advantage in the restaurant business. He is talented in picking the highest quality ingredients and offering new tastes to customers. He says: “We cannot be like anybody else. There should be a reason for people to drive this far. If we are unable to respond to the labor and efforts of those who choose us, that would be a shame. We have a responsibility in this matter.” He adds that he does not offer anything he does not like to customers.
There are certain principles at work in this restaurant. For instance, you cannot have an extra serving of the Madımak soup, a famous Sivas dish. The restaurant allows one cup per customer. I very much like the soup, but when I asked for another bowl, they said they could not serve it to me. The rule is simple: You can never have seconds of the soup. So I had to try the other dishes. The bulgur rice with green lentils is fantastic. Then I had the award-winning savory pancakes, made by two women. This cannot be compared to pizza. The pancakes have spinach, bologna, mozzarella and potato; they are so delicious that they may blow your mind. I would recommend you add yogurt or special sauce to them. Many varieties of pancakes are offered at the restaurant. Of course, once you have the opportunity, you have to try the local Sivas meatballs. I have to say that the Sivas meatball has an excellent taste. The diced meat (çoban kavurma) is also a classic. I tried different varieties of yogurt; they are delicious too. And so are the local pezik pickles.
At Madalyalı Restaurant, where you feel like you are on a vacation outside İstanbul, you should also try the deserts. You’ll become addicted. Homemade baklava and rice pudding — these are the classics. But you should absolutely try a desert dish Yılmaz specifically recommends. There are desserts made of pepper, tomato, potato, chickpeas and even haricot beans.
The restaurant also has timely service and an impressive ambiance. Do not think that the ride is too far; once you taste the dishes here, you will not consider the distance to be so bad. I am pretty confident of this.
Only one cup of soup!
Madalyalı Restaurant, which opened a decade ago, is like a seasonal resort alongside the forest. Its wooden interior provides a relaxing ambiance for customers that is further backed by tasteful delicacies including Sivas meatball, diced meat and pancakes. One thing to note:
Every customer can only have one cup of soup.
The local mixed breakfast offers 25 varieties. You can have breakfast here any day at every hour. You can also buy products on your way out in the delicatessen section.
Madalyalı Restaurant: En route to delicacy
There is a mescid (prayer hall), parking lot and children’s play area available at Madalyalı Restaurant. The restaurant is open from 7:30 a.m. to midnight and can host parties of up to 300 people. A portion of the garden is open to customers.