May 22, 2012 Istanbul Turkey Middle East

Enstitu, Istanbul Culinary Institute
Casual Dining


Welcoming: 3/5

Food Temperature: 8/10

Ambiance / Music: 6.5/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 23/30

Architecture / Interior: 7/10

Food presentation: 7/10

Service: 5/10

Value for money: Soon

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"All meals are prepared by chef school students under the supervision of professional chefs..."
I wanted to try Ensitu, simply for the name. I have not read any review about it, and didn't even find it in any of the tourist magazines around, but passing along the sidewalk, the name intrigued me.
At the Enstitu each plate served is a testimony to the care and passion of the dedicated chefs and talented students. After completing their comprehensive foundational training, the students sharpen their skills and gain invaluable hands-on experience in the apprentice kitchen of the Enstitü Restaurant.
The  philosophy of  the place is “seasonal eating” that is why the menu is adjustable. Some normal printed papers covered with nylon wraps that I didn't appreciate at all. They always use the freshest of ingredients and they lovingly prepare Enstitü’s regularly revised menus featuring Turkish and Mediterranean dishes.
The prices are fair, reasonable and affordable to all so everyone can try what the chefs of the future are preparing. Big names started in places like that.
Arriving at Enstitu at 09:30pm without any reservation, we were welcomed by a shy staff member who was trying his best. We were seated comfortably on the highest table of the lower floor, over viewing the nice decoration around.
At first, I was not very impressed with the menu that was made of paper binder, which reminded me of school and I couldn't even take pictures of it, but when the plates started arriving, all of us at the table were amazed. Perfectly selected ingredients, beautifully decorated combinations with a delicious result.
Every week, two papers are added to the menu: The chef's choice and the Month tasting menu.
The Menu is divided into the usual different sections: appetizers, main courses, desserts, the wine list, beverages, cold drinks, hot drinks and the tea list.
We ordered:
- Smoked salmon salad (rocket, sorrel, lettuce, red onion, caper, olive, lemon, orange sauce)
- Saros garden parsley salad with goat cheese, artichoke Carpaccio
- Pastry with cheese, mixed herbs, dill with yogurt sauce
- French fries with homemade roasted pepper sauce
- Zucchini fritters with dill, yogurt sauce and mixed greens
- Beef Milanese, rocket salad with olive oil and cherry tomatoes
- Wild rice risotto with Spanish and smoked cheese
- Grilled duck burger, quail eggs, onion relish and sauteed potatoes
- Homemade fettuccine with a trio of cheeses (Gorgonzola, Parmesan, mozzarella )
- Pene, roasted eggplant, mozzarella
Chocolate pudding, panna cota, chocolate and raisins cake and chocolate cake.
The food was really delicious and up to the standard of a fine dining restaurant. The best items were the duck burger, the risotto and the chocolate pudding.
Things to be perfected:
- More training is needed for the students in the simplest things: serving the appropriate quantity of water and wine.
- Serving on the left or right and not from one side to the other of the table
- Broad bean soup with coconut, curry seasoning
- Cheese mousse in phyllo cups
- Wild rice risotto with spinach, smoked cheese
- Fillet seabass rolled with rice paper, sauteed mushrooms, tabouleh, sweet&sour sauce
- Lamb trio, shoulder meat sausage, rolled neck, chops, eggplant purée
- Dessert sampler plate
Suitable For: Casual Dining





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