…. if you like top class all the way through and fine dining . I’m not a fan of the “nouvelle cuisine” (small portions) – but during my Christmas escape in Istanbul I had the most fantastic food experiences … and both are based on the “nouvelle cuisine”. Let’s start with the restaurant that I spent Little Christmas Eve (23rd Dec) at.
Sair Nedim Caddesi
Akaretler Sira Evleri E-Blok No:14
+90 212 327 1166
Modern Turkish / €€€-€€€€
Chef de Cuisine/Owners; M. Cihan Kıpçak & Üryan Doğmuş
The whole experience started with my taxi driver that really took a detour with me blaming the that some road was closed – the traffic in Istanbul is terrible and around 7-8pm it’s mad. We got to the restaurant in time, but I had a feeling that I had been stitched up and the home journey only cost the half of it. This with taxi fares and drivers is what it’s in Instanbul and a part of the city’s charm maybe. *smile
When entering the area where the restaurant is I was met by the most amazing Christmas lights and light show. It was like coming into another world. I knew then that I had found my perfect Christmas.
At the restaurant I was seated by the street window … a very warm welcome and all the staff was so kind and attentive. Their tableware is very unique and designed by a local artist, in a rustic style. Every little plate and bowl so beautiful, looked handmade.
I decided to go for the a la carte and my menu became;
Red Pine Charred Saroz Bay Shrimp
Bell Pepper Coulis, and Fresh Blueberries, Pickled Sea Fennel Salad
41 Hr. Lamb Shoulder
Lamb Jus with Licorice Paste, Capadocian Pot Cheese, Local Pepper on Ash, Aubergine Cream and Potato & Yogurt
Burnt Goat Milk Pudding, ‘Teleme’ Fig Curd Ice Cream, with Violet Dust
Before my starter I got some lovely bread and lemonbutter – plus a fantastic cheese mousse. I also got a small cup of the most amazing cauliflower soup with orange oil- it was heavenly.
Between my starter and main I got an apple sorbet and that was just right – a little sharp and very refreshing.
Every dish that was put in front of me was like a piece of art and was a symphony of very balanced flavors. Nothing was overpowering and there was nothing of trying too hard, which often “nouvelle cuisine” can be.
For my starter I went for a glass of the most beautiful Turkish white – Sevilen, İsabey, Sauvignon Blanc, 2013 – next time I will try to bring a couple of bottles with me home (didn’t have any weight allowance left). It was so delicious and not pricey. Got help from the Maitre’D, Gürkan Özkan, where to buy it.
With my lamb shoulder I also had a Turkish wine; Melen, Shiraz, Reserve, 2010 -beautiful wine, but maybe a little too powerful for a lamb dish (my own fault).
I finished off with Turkish coffee, which I liked even if it was very strong and I was told by the Maitre’D that I should only drink half the cup, because of the coffee grounds – glad he told me.
The damage for an absolutely fantastic evening came to 310Lira/110€/134$/86£/1048SEK include tip – and for that I had also a vodka & tonic before dinner and mineral water.
My evening had been worth every lira, left Gile very pleased and a little tipsy, in other words an evening with loads of “feel good.”
“We all eat, and it would be a sad
waste of opportunity to eat badly.”
Images provided by and thanks to: gilerestaurant.com/timeoutistanbul.com/tripadvisor.co.uk/gecce.com/ hedofoodia.blogspot.com/deltaskymag.delta.com