Farm products and exquisite modern interpretation of Anatolian cuisine in Mikla, Istanbul
Mikla, Istanbul score by the 5D Sensograph of placescases.com: 5 out of 5.
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I travelled for my birthday to Istanbul with my family and wanted on my celebration day to dine in a very nice and special place. I had searched through the internet and came to the conclusion that this would be Mikla. Except it turned out that it wasn’t enough to book 2-3 days earlier. The concierge of Pera Palace Hotel, where we were staying, warned me that at least 2-3 weeks earlier I had to call them and, accordingly, he was told the restaurant was fully booked. I did not give up and decided to approach them by e-mail. There was a little delay in the answer because that day the restaurant was closed. To my greatest joy and surprise, on the next day they confirmed that we would be their guests for my holiday, but they apologized for not being able to offer me a table by the window with a view.
Mikla is across the street from Pera Palace Hotel, where we were staying. It is located on the top floor of the hotel Marmara Pera. He’s one of those restaurants that would get, maybe, even a couple of Michelin stars with their cuisine. The service is very good and somehow cordial and with a smile and a desire to establish a real contact.
Once again, I was surprised very pleasantly when I saw that they gave us a table by the window with a beautiful view.
The chef of Mikla Chef Mehmed Gürs is not only a great master in gastronomy but also an ideologist of the New Anatolian Cuisine movement. He works with a large team of people-chefs, farmers, anthropologists, ordinary people from the village, in order to preserve traditions in the production of pure natural products, typical for Anatolia, and their use, refracted through new techniques in the modern kitchens of restaurants.
And for that reason, Mikla’s cuisine has a very vivid signature.
…. A truly extraordinary view to the Golden Horn;
…. The menu is small- there is an option for a 3-course a la carte menu with a fixed price and a 7-course tasting menu, for which you have the option to add drinks combined with each dish, both options with fixed prices;
…. A wonderful presentation of food– from dishes like pieces of art, to wooden trays to emphasize the natural origin and the splendid colors of the farm products;
…. The wall, decorated as if it was from soap bubbles with stained glass hemispheres. See it in the movie below. The opposite wall was also stained glass, with internal lighting;
…. The wooden knife, with which we spread sheep milk butter on a fluffy home-made bread and the various other appetizers;
…. A very small remark about the toilet. The storage box for handwipe paper was jammed. As a result, the paper breaks into pieces that fall on the sink and so there was a messy paper, on the otherwise luxurious sink of black marble.
…. I mentioned already that the service was besides polite also very cordial. The guys hurried, to serve in a timely manner, to bring the dishes while the food was hot, but at the same time answered all our questions. One of our waiters asked us from where we were and was very glad to find out we were from Bulgaria. His wife was also Bulgarian and the manager of the restaurant too. He brought him to meet us right away. The last one turned out to be living from 38 in Istanbul, his Bulgarian was a little rusty, but he also enjoyed our meeting. We learned by him that from May onwards, the restaurant was fully booked for 2 months ahead. So, if you plan on traveling to Istanbul and visiting Mikla, reserve your table early;
…. Crispy and bubbly beginning – crispy crackers from seeds or cheese and tingling bubbles from nice local sparkling wine, which came as welcome drink.
…. The music was not just from one ganre- we heard jazz and the expressive voice of Brenda Boykin, a little soul, a little French chanson, Italian estrada, and finally we even heard Changes of Ozzy Osbourne- you will hear it in the video below.
…. Some flavors have took me back to childhood, like the one of Zeytinyağlı – green beans with lemon, broccoli, garlic, had the pleasant taste of a dish my mother used to make when I was a little girl but with a light fine twist added;
…. Finally, we tried farm cheese with honey- a splendid combination of a pungent smell of sheep cheese, stored in a goat skin with a soft and floral aroma of honey;
…. The sweet notes of a new oak in red wine Buzbag Reserve from a local variety of wine Kayra Winery, which was well combined with braised lamb, mentioned below in category Taste…;
…. The aroma of basil in ice cream, which was very unusual and amazingly combined with strawberries and pistachios.
Video watching time: 4.19 min
…. Everything was extremely delicious– from the tasty compliment appetizers to the finish with the cheese and honey;
…. Appetizer with pastrami of sea bass, green almond and almond milk- slightly sour, slightly chilly, with a well-spiced aroma from the drops of paprika and olive oil, slightly crunchy with the crushed nuts;
…. The lamb in any form was supreme- both on the grill and braised. The latter was served with a multisheet potato, on pesto, with chestnut purée and a little pea;
…. The octopus of my elder daughter- I couldn’t even give it a try, she liked it so much, that she ate it very fast;
…. Dessert with chocolate mousse and orange sorbet – very well balanced taste between slightly sour and sweet.
Extremely well combined drinks, one of them was craft beer, very good local wine, food with incredible taste and rich aromas, nice service- very special place! Mikla restaurant is a mandatory stop for every gourmet lover.
Istanbul is just 500 km from Sofia. It’s worth planning a long weekend to take a trip, but it certainly won’t be enough. There is a lot to see, experience, visit, hear.
How to book your stay in Istanbul?
If you are already planning your trip to Istanbul, book your stay right here. For your convenience, I added a booking.com box, which refers directly to their site. I guarantee you’re going to use all your genius discounts and privileges they would offer to you. Just enter the dates of your trip, then hit the Search button and voila. In addition, booking.com are doing their best to make sure that your expectations as a customer are fulfilled. I’ve described an example about the latter in my story about our stay in Shangri-La hotel in Singapore.
How to get to Mikla?
Don’t worry about getting to Mikla in Istanbul. Just use the Google map here by clicking on the red pin of its location and then select directions:
А: The Marmara Pera, Meşrutiyet Caddesi 15, 34430, Beyoğlu, İstanbul
T: +90 (212) 293 5656
Open hours: Mon-Sat 18-23, Sun- closed.
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Do you ever wonder how some places are so very different from others in service, environment, as a general experience? This means you are also interested like me in the topic of The Experience Economy by Pine and Gilmore. I’ve tried to recognize those places which apply it in practice its principles, whether deliberately or accidentally, and I think it is worth to consider them. Right click on category The Experience Economy.