rsan Şen, who has left behind 25 years in the food sector, is one of the self-educated names. Şen, who has worked at successful venues such as Al SharQ, BVS Group, and Fenerbahçe Dalyan Club, had also worked with İzzet Çapa for long years. We met with Ersan Şen, who said that he learned a lot from the executive chef of 360İstanbul Entertainment group Mike Norman and Gazi Bilal Ateş, at his new restaurant Sarışın, which adds dynamism to Koşuyolu, İstanbul.

Appeals to the white-collar workers 

Having been advancing by adding his own style to the techniques he has learned from different chefs until today, Ersan Şen, the co-founder and executive chef of Sarışın, has been very ambitious in the international cuisine. Şen has gained experience in Lebanese and Indian cuisines because he had worked with the Çapa Group for many years. He is committed to this profession with passion since childhood. He says that Sarışın, which has been materialized with the other founding partners Cem Baloş and Murat Dalar in Koşuyolu, has a warm and friendly atmosphere. Underlining their efforts to create a place where guests will be comfortable and feel like home, Ersan Şen said, “The name of the place is inspired by Sezen Aksu’s song. Sarışın (Blond) was the common decision of all of us because all our spouses are blond. Yellow color stands out in the decoration. Sarışın is the modernized version of the Turkish style restaurants. Its level is a little bit above this area’s. Our target audience is mostly white collar workers. In a short time, we had a serious mass of regulars. Anyone who comes here and leaves happy recommends us. When we look at the eyes of our guests, we can immediately understand what they want, what they like and why they are uncomfortable. We do not have a menu that belongs to a single region. In our appetizer plates, we blended Middle Eastern, Armenian, Aegean, Hatay, Mersin, and Balkan cuisines, playing with their genes.”

He will carry Sarışın to the south or to the Aegean

Ersan Şen, who said that they are working with a team of 6 in the kitchen, emphasized the importance of each specialty presented to the guests must be prepared with fresh and seasonal products. Stating that they pay attention to product quality, Şen said, “If product quality does not satisfy us, we never use them, because what is important to us is to ensure the sustainability of the product taste. We have an open kitchen surrounded with windows on all sides. We even have a coal grill inside. Our restaurant is only serving for dinner at the moment. In the future, we will have breakfast and lunch services, too. We are building every detail carefully. I come to work very early. I am in the kitchen at 09:00 in the morning, I attend the preparation and making processes of every specialty. Our place is open until 01.00 after midnight. I always try to welcome my guests at the door. We are very ambitious with our specialties such as kokoreç, liver, blond bombshell, pink sultan, coriander mackerel and Turkish delight steak. Soon we will add sushi to our menu. I dream of opening a branch in the south or the Aegean region.”

Food safety and hygiene are indispensable

Stating his passion for this business, Ersan Şen emphasizes that if there is no passion there will be no success and he would choose this profession again if he were to be born again. Şen, who could never tolerate any kind of mess in the kitchen, summarizes what kind of rules they follow in the kitchen: “We have an open kitchen. Our customers can see the inside of the kitchen even when selecting an appetizer. For me, the most important rule in the kitchen is food safety and hygiene. A dish that is not produced and stored under hygiene rules is the biggest enemy of health. Accurate measurement when cooking is an important necessity. This is my most important red line. I always comply with the exact amount of each ingredient the recipe calls. Human psychology changes. One day you might throw in extra salt without noticing. Good food requires time and sticking to the exact measurements called by the recipe. Most of the time, 30 seconds difference in the cooking time or as much as a teaspoon of salt difference can make a perfect meal ordinary. That is why everything in the kitchen is standard. We pay great attention to the consistency, taste, and presentation of the dishes in order to offer our guests the best. At this point, I would recommend young chef candidates, who will choose this profession, to gain experience abroad. The flavors they will be carrying from the world cuisines to our country will make a great contribution to the development of our cuisine.”


Fava ingredients: 300 gram dried fava beans, 1 medium onion, 6-7 cloves of garlic, 1 carrot, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1 dessert spoon of butter, 1 pinch of salt, 1 pinch of white pepper, 1 pinch of turmeric.

Directions: Wash the dried fava beans in plenty of water about 4-5 times. Add water until it reaches 3-4 inches above them. Add veggies. Lower the heat once they are boiled. Cook about 40-45 minutes until the beans get mushy. While whisking, add the olive oil, butter, salt and other spices. Whisk until it forms a thick consistency. Add the sour cherry sauce on top before serving.  

Sour cherry sauce ingredients: 1/2 cup of fresh sour cherries, 2 red onions, 1/2 cup of olive oil and salt.

Directions: Remove the stones of the fresh cherries. Slice the onions. Add the olive oil and salt and bake for 2 hours in a 170 degree oven.                                     

Diğer yemek spesiyalleri

Lamb kokoreç in a bed of eggplant

Şakşuka (yoğurtlu)

Mutabbel (üstü narlı)

Blond bombshell (daha sarı kıvamlı olan üstünde kuru acı biber var)

New generation mücver with kale