NAR Restaurant is based on the principle of adapting the traditional cooking methods and foodways of Ottoman and Turkish cuisine that have evolved over many centuries to our modern values and lifestyle. Our foremost aim is to preserve a shared heritage that is beginning to disappear for the benefit of present and future generations.
The fertile yet arid lands stretching from the Mediterranean basin to Central Asia are the origin of most of the world's edible plants, while the seas of the region, with their varying salinity levels, are a source of a huge range of seafoods. The range of traditional ecological foods that are fast disappearing today are being revived and processed by traditional methods for NAR Restaurant. Restoring these foodstuffs to our tables is NAR's fundamental mission.
Research carried out over many years has shown that the traditional diversity of foodstuffs in our diet is rapidly diminishing today. Younger generations have no idea which seasons fruits and vegetables belong to, or even that they have seasons at all. As a result the seasonal products of our region have to a large extent disappeared from our tables. NAR Restaurant's cuisine is dedicated to preparing dishes made from seasonal foods, and in so doing bringing back many foodstuffs that are on the brink of being forgotten.
Consumer habits dictated by economic and fast food culture have had an adverse effect on the ethics of production techniques. In order to ensure a healthy diet human beings for centuries processed foods by means of healthy preservation techniques to ensure a sufficient supply of food throughout the year. In cooperation with its sister organisation NAR Gourmet, which is dedicated to the production of healthy traditional foods, NAR Restaurant uses traditional ingredients from all over Turkey for a cuisine with real flavour. These include olive oil, sour juices, fruit preserves, dried vegetables, fruits, spices, vinegars and pickles prepared by traditional methods without any additives.
Turkey's traditional animal breeds are dying out as a result of hybridisation with the sole aim of producing more meat. Dairy foods such as yogurt and cheese are deteriorating in quality as a result. NAR Restaurant seeks out foods that have not yet lost their traditional flavours. Our cuisine makes use of a wide diversity of local foodways based on research in cooperation with leading individuals and organisations by the Culinary Arts Centre, which was founded by NAR Restaurant and the Turkish Cultural Foundation.
Today populations of many fish species are rapidly declining. In the 1920s 6000 swordfish were caught every year in the Marmara Sea alone, but today this number has dropped to just 15. Sultan Abdülhamid II's favourite fish was the kofana or large bluefish, whose cheeks were used to make salad, but for a long time there have been no kofana at all. NAR Restaurant undertakes not to serve any endangered species of fish.
NAR Restaurant is devoted to the principle of natural, healthy eating, inspired by Turkey's diverse provincial food cultures, which are the flavours of the future.