After it opened in December 2019, just a few months before the world shut down due to COVID, Istanbul’s TURK Fatih Tutak restaurant quickly made an impression. Located in Now Bomonti in the Şişli district of Istanbul, With a strong Turkish identity, the restaurant gives off a contemporary and modern vibe that’s refined and has a strong emphasis on sustainability.
The restaurant is owned by internationally-acclaimed Chef Fatih Tutak who won Best Chef of the Year 2020 in Time Out Istanbul and placed no.89 in the World’s Best Chef Awards, where he was the only Turkish chef in the top 100.
Fatih says, “The vastness of the country with its many landscapes and seas means we have access to some of the finest produce in the world here. I want to celebrate that on every menu. He continues, “We are responsible for respecting the essence and tradition of Turkish cuisine and developing it for future generations. That is the foundation of TURK’s creative style and unique cuisine.”
Harnessing inspiration from all of his travels, Fatih creates refined dishes using traditional flavours as well as techniques and skills learned while abroad. While the lockdown was an extremely difficult period, it offered Fatih and his team the opportunity to dive deeper into Turkey’s exceptional local produce. The team at TURK threw themselves into research and development and were passionate about continuing to educate themselves.
Supporting Local Producers
What’s more, Fatih works closely with local Turkish farmers, fishermen and artisan producers to source his ingredients. During the lockdown, while restaurants were closed, Chef made it his mission to support local producers so he continued to purchase the products. This was to ensure that no season went untapped.
Nothing’s gone to waste either, because last year’s bounty has been preserved in the form of garums, misos, Tarhanas, pickles and many other fermented ingredients that’ll pair perfectly with their fresh counterparts.
Wondering what you can expect to taste if you’re heading to Istanbul? The Eggplant, Buffalo Milk, Basil are made with local eggplants from Adana, Turkey and they’re peeled, salted and weighed down to remove the bitter juice. They’re then fried and glazed with preserved eggplant tarhana soy five times in the oven.
The Lamb Saddle, Kebab, Koji, Lamb Garum consists of saddle that’s been marinated in koji and milk, then it’s grilled and served with vegetables preserved from last year, as well as aged spring garlic and smoked lamb fat. The sauce is two years in the making as it’s made from lamb garum and fermented lamb fat.
Featured Image: TURK Fatih Tutak