Grilled meat on a spit is not a novelty in Istanbul, or in Turkey, for that matter. From the ubiquitous döner kebap to the spicy kokoreç (grilled lamb intestines) or the juicy çağ kebabı (kebap on a spit), this city has no shortage of skewers packed with juicy meats. As meat-loving people, most Istanbulites (and many of their guests) have already found their preferred sources for hearty chargrilled dishes and the occasional medium-rare steak, eateries that they visit regularly, if not ritually. Ever so often though, we see a new approach to preparing meat dishes, and in the case of Rotisserie Noir’s shiny black rôtissoires, we actually see the re-invention of a centuries-old French cooking technique that now takes its place within Istanbul’s culinary scene.
The restaurant’s open kitchen displays several of these impressive vertical ovens with their shiny horizontally rotating skewers, used to cook and roast almost all dishes served here, from steak to ribs, to Moroccan sausages, soup, and even grilled bananas served for dessert. By cooking in a dry environment, the meat cuts are kept soft and juicy while forming a deliciously shiny outer crust, a process best witnessed during the preparation of roast chicken. A special technique neutralizes fumes inside the oven to preserve the original flavor of each dish.
Even before the starters arrive, a small platter of complimentary amuse bouche are served, in our case deliciously roasted bread fresh from the rôtissoire, accompanied by goat cheese baked in a small enamel pot and drizzled with honey, and brown butter with a hint of salt. Various sides of potato, among them truffled oven potatoes, are also cooked inside enamel pots and arrive sizzling hot, with oil bubbling and fragrant steam rising from the colorful little containers. The fillet steak, served alone, is as simple as it is tasty, with a light crust on the outside and juicy meat on the inside.
While decorated predominantly in cool black tiles and shiny dark enamel, Rotisserie Noir balances the friendly atmosphere of an uncomplicated and friendly neighborhood eatery with an extensive alcohol selection from Chilean and Turkish wines to cocktails and exclusive spirits. Rotisserie Noir also has extended opening hours, attracting diners from local families to frolicsome birthday gatherings both for lunch and for dinner.
Akdeniz Yeşillikler (mixed salad of Mediterranean greens with dried fruits and nuts)
The restaurant is located on Bağdat Caddesi in Suadiye, between Çatalçeşme and Tan Sokak bus stop.
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