- Get directions
- Call to book
Fauna is perhaps the most exclusive establishment in Istanbul. Seats fill up immediately for the lunch service. The pasta-forward menu here is elegant, a product of perfectionism at its finest. No dish is subpar and some are on a globally competitive level, despite being purely Italian cuisine. A perfect place to go with a food enthusiast friend rather than a random company.
Context: The chef İbrahim Tuna is perhaps a modern Turkish shokunin, a dedicated master of his craft. Creating the best Italian pasta in the country, he is a no-fuss chef with little tolerance for the demands of a consumerist and ignorant restaurant-goer. Even on the chalkboard you can often find “warning” declarations hinting at the place’s philosophy of cuisine and service. “Fauna is for those with time and patience”. So don’t rush.
What to order: Any pasta dish here is excellent. The “âlâ” domates, meaning the “top” tomato, is the perfect simmered down tomato pasta dish, proving the sourcing quality of the restaurant. The lamb shank over tagliatelle is another highlight. It is a fall-apart lamb shank with bone, covered in its own sticky and glossy jus. I would not recommend this on its own, as it is a bit heavy and requires a palate cleanser after. The strawberry sorbet was also Proustian in that it transported me through all the times I had a great strawberry in my life like a Marvel time travel scene.
What to know: The pasta is made solely of eggs and semolina. The service here is not the quickest and they do not aim to be known with the speed of their service. Every Saturday they announce their booking service opening on their instagram account and spaces fill up fast, even though there is only lunch service. They do run out of dishes, so an early booking should be preferred. No alcohol service.