Chef - owner of TURK, Fatih Tutak, reopened his restaurant after a lengthy lockdown in Istanbul.
Located in Now Bomonti in the Şişli district of Istanbul, TURK Fatih Tutak is a modern, refined restaurant set in a contemporary, light interior with a strong Turkish ethos. Since opening in December 2019, just a few months before the lockdown, TURK has already established itself as one of the best restaurants in Turkey. Fatih 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.
Chef Fatih Tutak
Using the techniques and skills acquired on his travels, Fatih creates refined reinterpretations and recalibrations of traditional flavours. Celebrated for his creative approach to ingredients, his dishes are micro seasonal with a strong emphasis on sustainability. Whilst the lockdown presented many problems; it also offered opportunities to look further into Turkey’s bounty of exceptional local produce. Fatih and his team threw themselves into research and development, educating themselves further, never standing still. Fatih works closely with Turkish farmers, fishermen and artisan producers to source his ingredients, and during the lockdown, he wanted to continue to support these producers. He continued to buy the products, so while the restaurant may have been closed, no season went untapped. Last year's produce has been preserved in the form of garums, misos, Tarhanas, pickles and many other fermented ingredients to pair with their fresh counterparts this year. Utilising these techniques helps to elevate humble ingredients into something extraordinary.
Strawberry, Yoghurt, Basil
Example dishes include Eggplant, Buffalo Milk, Basil - Eggplants from Adana, Turkey are carefully selected, peeled, salted and weighed down to remove the bitter juice, then fried and glazed with preserved eggplant tarhana soy five times in the oven. Finally, the eggplants are served with fresh basil leaves, capers, puffed yoghurt made from buffalo milk, with its flavour enhanced by dried and fresh tomatoes and an intense tomato cream. Lamb Saddle, Kebab, Koji, Lamb Garum - The saddle is marinated in koji and milk, then grilled and served with vegetables preserved from last year, aged spring garlic and smoked lamb fat. The sauce is made from lamb garum and fermented lamb fat, finally providing the perfect balance after two years in the making. On the side, a hand minced lamb rib kebab is served traditionally.
Lamb Saddle, Kebab, Koji, Lamb Garum
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.”
Eggplant, Buffalo Milk yoghurt, Tomato
Chef Fatih Tutak was born and raised in Istanbul, and after his apprenticeship with the avant-garde cuisine under Paul Pairet and in some of the city’s finest hotels and restaurants, he worked his passage around S.E. Asia, Russia, China, Japan and Denmark. With time spent in Copenhagen under Rene Redzepi at Noma; in Tokyo with Seiji Yamamoto at Nihonryori Ryugin and in the iconic resort hotel, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, he headed to China’s port cities of Qingdao, Beijing and Hong Kong, before settling in Bangkok as Head Chef at The Dining Room of The House of Sathorn. For two years, from 2017-2018, he led his talented team to international accreditation, both in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants (No.36 in 2017) and in the Thailand Michelin Guide 2018-19. He returned to Turkey in December 2019 and opened his first restaurant TURK Fatih Tutak in Istanbul.