Gallery: Sip Sak: Orhan Yegen's Ottoman Empire

  • Lamb Chunks Over Eggplant Purée ($18)

    Lamb Chunks Over Eggplant Purée

    With spoon-tender knobs of lamb braised with tomato and olive oil. At other Turkish restaurants around Manhattan, the eggplant purée is enriched—and dumbed down, you could say—with cream. Sip Sak keeps it cleaner, heavy on the smoke and the eggplant's natural fruitiness.

    Mixed Mezze Platter

    Mixed Mezze Platter

    Turkish meals frequently begin with an assortment of small plates called mezze, and Sip Sak's menu runs the gamut of classics: hummus, cacık* (a tzatziki-like yogurt spread), patlıcan salatası (a super-smoky eggplant purée similar to, but lighter than babaganoush). But you'll also find some you may not be looking for, like braised celery root or artichokes with fava beans. They are all listed as separate items, but say the word and the kitchen will make up a mixed mezze plate for you.

    Mixed Mezze Platter

    Mixed Mezze Platter

    Does a plate of vegetables deserve all this attention? At Sip Sak it does. And when it comes to $11.50 a person (prices can vary), it's a gift.

    Lamahcun ($8.50)


    A thin flatbread topped with minced lamb, tomato, and herbs (the bar pie of Turkey), balances crisp crust and tender meat with an unmatched acuity in New York.

    Chicken Adana Kebab ($19)

    Chicken Adana Kebab

    Lamb reigns here, but the minced chicken kebab is a sleeper success, with the sweet heft of dark meat made all the sweeter by red pepper.

    Lamb Adana Kebab ($19)

    Lamb Adana Kebab

    The lamb version is no slouch either, just gamey enough and perfectly seasoned.


    Sip Sak restaurant interior

    The restaurant looks more like a Midtown bistro than a Turkish enclave, with tin ceilings and accents of marble and brass, though its prices are well in line with the city's other Turkish bastions. You'll find more refinement in the food here as well, making it one of the few "nice" places in Midtown East that offers serious cooking for those without expense accounts.

    Braised Short Ribs ($24)

    Braised Short Ribs

    One exception to the braised-is-awesome rule: Short Ribs over mashed potatoes may sound like a picky eater's respite, but it's underseasoned with gummy starch. A far better bet is something closer to Yegen's roots, like the Stuffed Cabbage when it's on the menu. It's the lamb-rice-tomato combination we've seen before, but in a more comforting package, and brought to life with dill.

    Rice Pilaf

    Rice Pilaf

    A special for the day, the rice was cooked with caramelized onions, caramelized pine nuts, sweet cinnamon, and more braised lamb—those caramelized pine nuts will spoil you.

    Turkish Coffee ($4)

    Turkish Coffee

    Sip Sak's Turkish coffee is bracingly strong, but balanced.

    Almond Pudding ($7)

    Almond Pudding

    Admittedly light on the almonds, but the custard is smooth and quite light, silky in a way that most starch-thickened puddings never are.

    Butternut Squash ($7)

    Butternut Squash

    The squash is roasted in large chunks and glazed, then tossed in a sundae glass with thick cream and walnuts. It's the dessert hater's dessert—only lightly sweet with vegetal flavors weaving their way through the cream.

    Baklava ($6)


    Baklava comes in the Turkish style, light on the syrup and heavy on the pistachios, with both soft and crisp layers of phyllo.

    Semolina Halva ($7)

    Semolina Halva

    A pine nut-enriched semolina crust over a dome of pleasantly creamy ice cream.

    Breaking into the Halva

    Semolina Halva


    Sip Sak