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Mikla @ Istanbul

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mikla

Mikla, was one of those places that was highly regarded in the dining scene in Istanbul. Housed in the Marmara Pera Hotel in the Taksim district already set the tone for an upscale dining experience. We made reservations for a table just before sunset so that I could witness my first sunset in Istanbul and probably the cityscape as well since there is an outdoor area just for that.

Most diners head out for their sundown drinks before proceeding indoors for dinner, or simply lounge outside with the blasting winds and also partake of the beautiful landscape on the rooftop of the hotel.

table

I was enticed with the option of wine for the night but I passed anyhow.

crackers

Cheddar crisps to start the night off, this presentation and appetizer has been overused in too many restaurants for any surprise to even start.

appetizer

I was however impressed with this fish mousse amuse bouche, light, floaty and really tasty.

dips

The condiments that came with the bread.

bread

Credit be given that the bread was well done and I enjoyed it tremendously with the dips.

tuna

Bonito
Palamut Lakerra, Cacik, Red Onion Marmalade

The plating was simple and the ingredients were also minimal, it was texturally complementary but it lacked a wow factor in the flavours coming together for some fireworks.

octopus

Octopus
North Aegean Octopus, Lemon Blossom Soup, Olive Oil Braised Sultaniye Pea

What awaited me was an octopus fished from where I had the best part of my European holiday - Greece. Bland flavours that did not marry somehow, the uninpiring journey continued.

ravioli

Lamb Shank
Trakya Kivircik Lamb Shank, Smoked Eggplant, Stew of Kayseri Sucuk and White Bean

I thought it would be good to attempt different cooking techniques of lamb on the same plate. I found the lamb shank a beautifully executed dish but the stew was a let down in the dumpling.

lamb

Trakya Kivircik
Lamb Entrecote, Shredded Lamb Shank Manti, Cinnamon and Tahini Green Lentil Hunus, Mugla Morel Mushroom

Another soft meat dish, nothing too exceptional.

berries

Sour Cherry
Sour Cherry Compote, Whole Wheat, Roasted Almond, Honey and Kaymak Icecream

At long last, a dish that was more multi dimensional with sour and sweet tones as a good contrast. Sour cheeries are unheard of this part of the world so I thought this was an interesting dessert.

pistachio icecream

Black Mulberries
Chilled Mulberry Soup, Cinnamon Crumbs, Fresh Almond Sorbet

Black mulberries in comparison was easier to like, the pistachio gelato was really smooth and went well with mulberries.

Moving onto the sunsets that well, makes a country particularly endearing.

cloudy

It started out as a dusty landscape, the silhouettes of the city's landscape was enchanting.

view

The other side of Istanbul - beyond the Galata Bridge. Terribly claustrophobic though buildings are not sky scrapers but very closely built.

sun

Watching the egg yolk sink had to be one of the most therapeutic and patience testing activities ever. Every snap did not seem to bring me any closer to the horizon.

sunset

Sundown brought a different side of Istanbul to life, the lights came on and the city came alive. Love the hues of this scene captured!

night view

Before we left at 9pm with the famous bosphorous cruise making its rounds in the river.

The meal was certainly less than desired for.  At 3 courses costing 160 TL excluding service charge, it was expensive and hardly worth the experience. The sunsets however are priceless. Maybe the drink at the bar or the alfresco area would have been more worth while.

Mikla

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.

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