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“No chips, no rice” was the exclamation when our meals arrived.

This was said in a positive refrain as the stars of the show – a to-die-for steak, cooked to perfection, and lamb chops – arrived as we dined with friends for the first time at the Meyhane Istanbul.

The main courses were served up stylishly on a wooden platter, with garnish and mashed potato. And all were polished off with ease and no complaints. The rice and chips were not even missed!

Indeed, the meal may have been the star attraction, but the Istanbul’s other big draw is to be able reflect on life while watching the sun slowly drip down over the back of the Apollo Temple – just as much as our meals’ accompanying wine and beer.

The restaurant, under new management and with a chef out to impress, is located at the top of Ataturk Bulvari, opposite the Medusa Hotel, and the first stone building you meet to the right as you glance left towards the Apollo Temple’s ruins.

We were impressed by the mezes, with the waiters happily showing us the 20 or so starters before our choices were served up. Equally delighted, they showed us the meats that were used for the mains and we were let in on a small secret – the steaks are sourced from Soke!

A dessert followed, a light little number that was accompanied with a refreshing palate cleanser, while the night and the conversation flowed easily.

The menu offers a tight number of mezes and main courses, so the choices were straightforward.

The atmosphere was laid back with background Greek and Turkish music, while service was attentive, without being in your face.

The waiters were also happy to answer questions in English, including an inquiry as to what the red wine (Dikmen) was.

Parking is directly right outside the restaurant and there seemed to be a constant flow of British and Turkish diners venturing in.

Meyhane Istanbul has nearly completed its first season, but has quietly put itself on the map as a new restaurant to try out – and one that we and our friends will be happily returning to in the not-too-distant future.