FOUNDING PARTNER AND EXECUTIVE CHEF OF ROBIN’S, AMONG THE POPULAR LOCATIONS OF GALATA, BİLAL MERT PREPARES SPECIAL DISHES THAT HE COMBINES INTERNATIONAL CUISINES WITH THE TURKISH CUISINE.
Facing the Galata Tower and serving both Turkish and foreign patrons with its delicious specialties, Robin’s opens its doors at 3pm every day. This cozy place that was founded on February 19, 2014 is owned by a sister and a brother, Yeşim Kozanlı and Bilal Mert. We had a lovely shooting with Bilal Mert who is also the executive chef of the place and he gave us the recipe of one of his most preferred specialties, ‘mussel vongole.’
Robin’s that is located on Galipdede Street of Şahkulu Neighborhood, which you are going to see as you walk down to Galata from Beyoğlu, has the most special view of Bosphorus from its terrace. Patrons of Robin’s enjoy this special ambience that combines the past and the future during the evening hours. When you add the special dishes of Executive Chef Bilal Mert to this different concept, the end of pleasant chats never comes. Bilal Mert who works with a young and energetic team of ten engrains his passion for work in his colleagues’ minds. Everyone who works at Robin’s smiles and they are all full of energy. Bilal Mert’s who expresses that they are one big happy family highlights that, if one wants to be successful at something, that person has to like it first. Since Robin’s has only a capacity of forty, it would be a good idea to make a reservation for Fridays and the weekends. Robin’s is especially crowded with foreign tourists during the months of summer. It is a quiet location away from the busyness of İstanbul.
He works with a dynamic and harmonious team
Bilal Mert who mentions that he has been dreaming of owning a restaurant since the day he became involved in business is a graduate of Yeditepe University’s Business Management Department. He also studied pastry and cooking techniques of different flavors such as meat, fish, and poultry at Le Cordon Bleu in London. Stating that he opened Robin’s with his big sister Yeşim Kozanlı in February 2014, Bilal Mert informed us about the details that make Robin’s different: “Our modern and creative kitchen combines the International Cuisines with the Turkish Cuisine. We have refreshed our winter menu in October. It consists of different flavors such as lamb, küşleme, and quail. We care about the presentation of our dishes as well as their taste.”
Our targeted mass is the people who enjoy eating
Bilal Mert who says that the targeted mass of Robin’s is the people who enjoy eating adds, “You have to prepare the dish that the customer orders very fast and in the most delectable way. Our job requires immediate attention and dynamism. I am working with a successful team. Our most busy times are also the times that we are the happiest. You have to race against time when you are preparing the orders. However, our team spirit is united and no matter how much pressure we have to work under we still achieve to work with smiling faces and with pleasure.”
MUSSEL VONGOLE RECIPE BY EXECUTIVE CHEF BİLAL MERT (for one)
Ingredients: 5 mussels cleaned, 5 vongoles (carpet-shell clams), fresh oregano, lemon zest, salt, pepper, olive oil, 50 grams of mung beans, 1 bunch of sea beans, hot oil/lemon, fine sliced dill and parsley.
Preparation: Place all the ingredients in a vacuum bag and vacuum seal it. Cook it in a sous vide machine at 90 degrees for 4 minutes. Boil and then drain the mung beans. Place them in a wok. Add fine sliced dill and parsley, a bit of fish sauce, salt, pepper, and some butter. Boil the sea beans.
For mussel sauce: Sauté fine sliced onion, garlic, and olive oil in a wok. Add some of the mussels. Keep sautéing and add the cream. Cook them well and then flavor with salt and pepper. Strain this mixture.
Serving: First, spread the sea beans on the plate. Decorate the top with shells. Later add the mussels. Spread the sauce over the mussels. Sprinkle the mung beans. Add one drop of hot oil on top of each mussel. Finally, sprinkle lemon zest on top of everything on the plate. Enjoy!