Time Out says
WHEN SEZEN BAYRAK GÜREL left his academic career to follow his passion for cooking, he started at the lowest rung of the kitchen hierarchy at Kantin in Nişantaşı, later working by the side of Murat Bozok and improving his cooking techniques in the process. Mika, which opened its doors in Maslak, is the fruit of his labor. Nowadays, Gürel is training new chefs under his wing, and is continuing to serve the delicious ekşili köfte – known to cause lines out the door – in Nişantaşı. The interior of Mika Lokanta’s new location is much larger and Gürel has prioritized the concept of ‘comfort food’ on his menu, which features regional delights made with ingredients that are sourced from where the dishes originate. The Etli kuru dolma (36 TL), for example, is made with haylan kabağı from Gaziantep. The pumpkin (18 TL) that is enriched with pastırma from Kastamonu and tulum peynir is another starter that will tantalize your palate, while what seals the deal for the salmon köfte (50 TL) is the broccoli stuffed inside. Gürel, who is fond of spices such as tarragon, marjoram, and purple basil, adds his own interpretation to well-known dishes, and we loved his use of different sauces and spices. With Mika, there is a new alternative in Nisantaşı for those wanting healthy portions of food in a sleek ambience.