Now Bomonti in the Şişli district (pronounced like Shisli) of Istanbul has not been a typical destination any foodie visitor would choose but this changed right after the opening of the restaurant Turk by chef Fatih Tutak in December last year.
Where it started
Born and raised in Istanbul, chef Fatih Tutak was, as many chefs, inspired by his mother home cooking to become a cook.
After his apprenticeship with Paul Pairet in Istanbul and working in some of the cities restaurants he had the opportunity to move abroad. After Qingdao, Beijing, at Ryugin in Tokyo, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore he spent some time in Noma.
Finally in 2017 he moved to Thailand where, together with his team at The Dining Room of The House on Sathorn, he achieved being listed in The World 50 Best Restaurants and in Michelin Guide.
Turns out all of those experience were just a start to his biggest dream, coming back home to Istambul to start his own restaurant curating innovative Turkish cuisine. Turk by Fatih Tutak is an appreciation to great Turkish culinary heritage, quality of local produce with a little twist of inspiration and techniques from all countries he visited.
Design in Turk by Fatih Tutak
Interiors are contemporary and light, with simplicity and sincerity at its core. The design, like the dishes of TURK, take inspiration from Turkey’s cultural past. Letters from ancient Orkhon inscriptions, the oldest form of the Turkish language dating from the 8th century, have been added to the design of the walls and floors are adorned with Seljukian patterns, originating from Anatolia in the 11th-13th century.
Tableware were chosen with care and consideration. Four different ceramic artists worked with Fatih in the design process. Table knives too have been selected from a 100-year-old family business and third-generation craftsman, who has created a series from natural materials bespoke to TURK.
Cuisine of Turk by Fatih Tutak
In his kitchen, Fatih creates refined reinterpretations of traditional flavours, combining Turkey’s historic cooking styles with various techniques and skills acquired on his travels. Using the techniques and skills acquired on his travels and combining them with Turkey’s more historic cooking styles, Fatih creates refined reinterpretations of traditional flavours.
We are responsible for respecting the essence and tradition of Turkish cuisine and protecting that. But we will lay the foundation at TURK of a more creative and original cuisine style.
Drinks mirror the chef’s approach in the kitchen. A bespoke cocktail menu has been created to either enjoy individually or to pair a tasting selection with each meal. Non-alcoholic mixes give a wine-like sensation and include Pomegranate – cinnamon, sage or Sparkling Mandarin - ginger, lavender. Alcoholic versions have been inspired by the culture and tradition of Turkey’s seven geographical regions and include for example Mediterranean – black carrot, vodka, black pepper, basil, citrus blend and Eastern Anatolia – Apricot cognac, mulberry, grape.
Wines are exclusively Turkish, made with both natural and conventional methods and will marry the country’s ancient viniculture tradition with 21st-century techniques and award-winning labels. From the western coastal sea regions to the plateaus and highlands in the east, many of the indigenous grape varietals are still largely unknown outside Turkey and a concise selection has been chosen from each region. Kalecik Karasi, for example, compares to the more common grape variety, pinot noir; Emir to pinot grigio; Narince to chardonnay and Boğazkere to cabernet sauvignon.
Dishes to make you wanna go immediately
It was a new version of his mom's manti, that became the dish to start his dream about own Turkish restaurant. Not na easy one challange as each Turkish mother and grandmother makes a perfect beef version of it.
Manti: dumplings with obergine instead of classic beef, spinach leeks, sundried tomatos, onions and garlic. Served with garlic buffalo yoghurt and summer preserved tomato cream with chilli and mint butter.
Fatty garfish cured, smoked and marinated served with lacto fermented vegetables and their pickle juice, burned coriander, dill oil, bergamot ash and deep fried garfish bone.
Tarhana soup, a comforting winter Turkish family staple.
The base of the soup is TARHANA dough, a kind of powdered veggie mix, which contains first fermented and then dried vegetables, yoghurt, yeast, bulgur and herbs. After drying, it is kept in kitchen cupboards untill is needed in the winter time. In TURK's version TARHANA is prepared with 3 kinds of mushrooms, fermented for 3 days and then dried for 50 days. The soup is served with pan-fried mushrooms and some mushrooms tarhana powder on top.
Turk by Fatih Tutak stirred fine dining scene in Istambul a little entering same league with listed on The World 50 Best: Mikla by Mehmet (52nd position) and Neolokal by chef Maksut Askar (110th position).
If you wish to visit, do not forget to book ahead as the place is sold out for 3 weeks ahead especially on weekends.
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