After blazing a trail across some of Asia’s most prestigious restaurants – from Tokyo’s three-Michelin-star Nihonryori to Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, plus a spot on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list as head chef at The Dining Room, Bangkok – Fatih Tutak is back on home turf, literally, for his latest venture. TURK, in Istanbul’s Şişli district, “is more than a restaurant – it’s my homecoming after many years,” Tutak says. “I needed to smell, touch and feel the real Turkey. It was the only way to feed my mind and heart.” Cue a menu that refines traditional Ottoman flavours and cooking styles, shaped by his globe-trotting, fine-dining training.
The star dish? His umami-rich revamp of an ancient Anatolian fermented soup, tarhana, is definitely up there. But the deconstructed spin on Turkish dumplings, laced with mint butter and kaymak, is the beating heart of TURK’s evocative culinary concept. After all, it’s based on a recipe by the most important teacher for any chef: mum.