Turk is a fully-fledged fine-dining experience, the only one in Istanbul awarded two Michelin stars. As the newest addition to the small roster of tasting menu restaurants in Istanbul, chef Fatih Tutak’s return-to-home project is the end product of years spent in great restaurants in Asia and Denmark as well as large sums of investment.
It surely delivers what it promises. Details like Munir Nurettin Selcuk (famous Turkish classical music composer) playing in the restrooms and the usage of old Turkic alphabet symbols as decoration create a luxurious and cultural ambience. The service is impeccable, as it should be for a £100+ per person bill (this will surely increase after the two-star award).
What to order: Well, the tasting menu. Chef Tutak takes Turkish dishes and deconstructs and reconstructs them through his global fine-dining perspective, heavily influenced by his time in Bangkok and Kopenhagen. I’m personally not a big fan of experimental and overly aestheticised plates, but credit where its due some dishes are excellent both in taste and in their ‘story’.
I made the grave mistake of going here three years ago when it first opened, too early on in its journey. Some dishes were still incomplete (like the extremely salty mother’s mantı, a key dish in Tutak’s narrative), but the highlights had already proven they are here to stay. The midye dolma, normally a street food dish where mussels are filled with spiced rice, at Turk is made of edible onion-deriven mussel shells and a good pilav inside. The dense bread and butter from the North of Turkey served in the beginning were also excellent. One overall criticism of the menu would be that dishes tend to sway towards the saltier side.
What to know: You need to book ahead for this place, way ahead. Word has it that after the Michelin ceremony in October 2022, the restaurant was immediately booked for the next six months. Still, try your luck as Turkish guests tend to regard reservations with less definitiveness than their European counterparts.