Fireroom is not the dream spot of food writers, but more so of mainstream instagram food influencers.This is where you get grease-dripping burgers, hot from the oven mac & cheese bowls and some local street food kokoreç, tidied up to fit a more global understanding of food aesthetics. By no means do I recommend this place as the forefront of Turkey’s gastronomy, it’s rather a decent eat in Ataşehir, essentially a good-food desert with skyscraping residential complexes.
Hazer Amani, the chef behind Fireroom, has had an interesting career. Starting his culinary jounrey in hotels in South Africa, Amani came to the Istanbul restaurant scene as an ambitious chef and took place in kitchens in Bebek. His restaurants were known and liked but eventually he found himself in Unilever’s R&D kitchen. That’s where I met him. I helped him for a day in the kitchen for a catering event, he was a kind and instructive person with a Bourdain-esque flair and love of all things cool (tattoos, hard music, motorbikes, dogs). Later he went on to manage the restaurant complex at Bomontiada and then became a celebrity chef after several TV appearances, most notable Masterchef Turkey. His connection with the mainstream there also identified his later menus, like that of Fireroom. It’s food loved by the masses, looking good for the camera with decent products involved.
What to order:
Anything you like. It’s sort of a fancyfied Hard Rock Café experience. The short ribs burger, despite its unnecessarily black buns was juicy and cheesy. The grilled kokoreç was decent. On the menu they had pickle juice, which is always a welcome localisation effort.