The first thought that comes to most people’s minds about Turkish food is kebab. But food in Turkey, especially in Istanbul, is more than the usual vertical stack of meat. The culinary scene in Istanbul has evolved tremendously over the years and is much vibrant than what people perceived it to be. During my most recent trip, I was introduced to Gile Restaurant, a relatively new establishment in Istanbul’s culinary scene.
Helmed by three young talented chefs, M. Cihan Kipcak, Uryan Dogmus and Erdal Argis, Gile Restaurant is located in the upmarket Akaretler district and adjacent to the hip W Hotel Istanbul. Using local produce, these chefs approach Turkish food from an innovative slant. It’s hard not to fall in love with their unique creations.
Chefs at work
Doubling up as an art gallery, the chefs deliberately kept the restaurant walls white so that the featured paintings can take centre stage. These painting are for sale and changed regularly. The same philosophy is also extended to the dinnerware. The first thing that I noticed when I sat down is the exquisite dinnerware designed by ceramic artist Mehmet Kutlu. Every piece of dinnerware is a work of art.
Red Pine Charred Saroz Bay Shrimp
The gastronomic experience started with a very refreshing Apple Soup with Lemon Oil. My partner and I were impressed how the soup actually opened up our appetite. The Red Pine Charred Saroz Bay Shrimp is extremely fresh and crustacean lovers will definitely enjoy it.
The Duck ‘Pastirma’ blew me away. First of all, I’m never a duck lover. But this dish changed my opinion on how duck can be prepared and presented in a totally different light. If you like, you can spread a thin layer of the accompanied chestnut cream over the duck meat. But the thinly sliced duck meat is equally tasty on its own.
28 Days Aged Beef Rib Eye
The 28 Days Aged Beef Rib Eye is simply gorgeous! The meat is delectable and juicy. Every mouthful of the meat is packed with so much flavour. Even now as I write this review, I cannot relish enough of its heavenly taste.
‘Yedi Baharli’ Rock Bass
The ‘Yedi Baharli’ Rock Bass is another star attraction. The rock bass is slow cooked to retain its original taste. The fish is so tender and works well with the artichoke cream.
In between courses, we were surprised with little doses of sorbets to cleanse our palate. These small details definitely helped to enhance our appreciation of the beautifully crafted food.
Earl Grey tea complements the Aryan Panna Cotta
The desserts are equally exciting. I love how the aroma and taste of bergamot oil from the Earl Grey tea complements the Aryan Panna Cotta dessert. It is light yet very delicious. And who can refuse a good crème brûlée? Unlike other restaurants that serve the custard dessert on its own, Gile Restaurant’s ‘Mesir Macunu’ Crème Brulee is accompanied with a scoop of the refreshing jasmine and lemon sorbet. Just like yin and yang, the sorbet and custard combination is well-balanced and like a match made in heaven.
‘Mesir Macunu’ Crème Brulee
Despite its tender age, Gile Restaurant has gained a group of loyal followers. And it’s not that hard to comprehend the phenomenon. With the dedication of a team of great service crew and talented chefs, I’m confident that this new kid will be the city’s blue-eye boy.
Sair Nedim Caddesi, Akaretler S?ra Evleri,
E Blok 14, Akaretler, Besiktas
Tel: (90) 212 327 1166