I was taken aback when I arrived at the Marmara Pera Hotel. I couldn’t believe that the much-talked-about Mikla restaurant is located in this unappealing and boring building. Thankfully, Mikla restaurant, which is located on the rooftop of the hotel, projects a more contemporary and design-forward image. When the elevator’s doors opened, I was overwhelmed by the gorgeous panoramic view of Istanbul.
My partner and I were seated away from the window. Even then, the atmosphere was great. The service was excellent even though the restaurant was running at full capacity. Our waiter, Mr. Caylak, was very friendly and attentive. Throughout the entire dinner, he was quick to replenish our bread and drinks.
Mikla Helmed by Turkish celebrity chef Mehmet Gurs
Helmed by Turkish celebrity chef Mehmet Gurs, Mikla offers modern Turkish cuisines. Diners have the option to opt for the degustation menu or the 3-course set dinner menu. We opted for the latter (B?R, ?K? and ÜÇ) without the wine pairing.
North Aegean Octopus with Lemon Blossom Soup and Olive Oil Braised Pea
Both of us had the North Aegean Octopus with Lemon Blossom Soup and Olive Oil Braised Pea for our appetiser, which is excellent. The octopus is grilled to perfection and I particularly enjoyed the slightly charred and smoky taste. The pea puree (or soup) and the tender octopus make a wonderful appetiser.
Grilled Tenderloin with Potato and Bergama, Tulum Cheese Terrine, Caramelised Onions and reduced Calkarasi Wine
Slow Cooked Grouper
I have a sensitive stomach and tend to prefer my food to be thoroughly cooked. I know that this is not the best way to eat a steak because a well-cooked meat tends to be tough. However, the chefs at Mikla managed to get the beef done to my liking without sacrificing the quality of the tenderloin. The Grilled Tenderloin with Potato and Bergama, Tulum Cheese Terrine, Caramelised Onions and reduced Calkarasi Wine is mouth-watering. The flavourful tenderloin has a slightly pinkish interior and is succulent. The accompanied potato gratin is also nicely executed. The Slow Cooked Grouper is just as good. The chunky piece of fish is so tender and appetising with the roasted tomatoes, capers, olives and chives.
Chilled Murberry Soup with Cinnamon Crumbs and Tahini Helva Ice Cream
Me enjoying the Crunchy Candied Pumpkin with Antep ‘Birdshit’ Ice Cream, Sesame Paste and Grape Molasses
Exciting and innovative seem to be the right adjectives to describe the dessert menu. My partner had the Chilled Murberry Soup with Cinnamon Crumbs and Tahini Helva Ice Cream while I decided to go with the Crunchy Candied Pumpkin with Antep ‘Birdshit’ Ice Cream, Sesame Paste and Grape Molasses. I was very eager to find out what exactly is ‘Birdshit’. And, no, I didn’t eat the bird excrement. The ‘birdshit’ is a nickname given to a variety of pistachio found in Antep. I love how the chef interprets the humble pumpkin and presents it under a different light. The fibre rich and crunchy sweet pumpkin is heavenly for someone with a sweet tooth like me.
Mikla is definitely one of those must-try restaurants in Istanbul. It is a place where you get a stunning panoramic view of Istanbul and an excellent feel of modern Turkish cuisines.
Me?rutiyet Caddesi 15, Tünel
Tel: 90 212 293 5656