Sarsak, which takes its name from wrapping rolls, offers 15 kinds of fried rolls to its target audience.
Moreover, these pastries are very different from the traditional flavors you are used to. Fried rolls with cherry, Mexican beans, mashed avocado, roasted eggplant, spinach, mushroom, mozzarella, tahini-molasses, and anchovies add a different dimension to the street flavor. We met with Emre Çötelioğlu, the founder and chef of Sarsak, and talked about how he differentiated fried rolls.
Inspired by different flavors
Emre Çötelioğlu, the founder and chef of Sarsak, is one of the names who switched from corporate life to the food sector. After graduating from Robert College, he studied Electrical Engineering at İstanbul Technical University. Recently serving as the power plants operation and maintenance director within Yıldırım Energy Holding, Çötelioğlu quit this job in the summer of 2018 and drew a different road map. Çötelioğlu, who says, “I wasn’t interested in cooking, but I always had an interest in eating good food. I have always enjoyed different tastes,” states that he travels a lot because of his work, he never hesitates to try the local delicacies of different countries and he is open to different tastes. Çötelioğlu who put in his mind managing his own business in Kadıköy-Moda instead of returning to corporate life says, “I walked around the street, I observed people. Where do they go, how do they spend time in places? What tastes do they like? I have observed this process for a long time. Later, I noticed that there was an important gap, especially in street delicacies. At this point, I was tempted by the idea of opening a modern fried roll shop. As a result of this observation, I opened Sarsak in October 2019.”
Preferred for three meals of the day
15 varieties of fried rolls are served at Sarsak. Emre Çötelioğlu thinks that since these rolls are popularly preferred for any meal of the day, this is a great advantage, he continues: “People don’t fry at home anymore. Therefore, the fried roll is actually a flavor that is longed for… I have tried various taste combinations at home. I actually created 35-40 kinds. But I’ve added only 15 of these flavors to the menu. I’ve set up a minimal space concept where customers can take out their fried rolls. Kadıkoy is a neighborhood that is very open to innovations. Different flavors are easily adopted. Customers no longer want to make a selection by looking at a menu with hundreds of varieties. They prefer places that stand out with their own specialties. So they want to know what they’re eating, how it would taste.” Expressing the consultation he received from his friend chef Melis Aran while he was creating the menu, Çötelioğlu says, “She helped me to balance different flavors and help me with the culinary operations. We also had options like shrimp, apple-cinnamon. But we have eliminated these flavors for now. New seasonal flavors can be added to the menu over time. I always prefer the best quality products. I only use Ezine feta cheese. I prefer kolot cheese instead of kashar cheese.”
Specials for vegans
Open 7 days, Sarsak is open between 12.00-22.00 on weekdays and 12.00-23.00 on weekends. ‘Grandma’ rolls with Ezine feta cheese-parsley filling are popular although they are classic. Çötelioğlu gives the following information about the different flavors: “Different options such as anchovies, sauteed beef, or cherry are among the flavors that are preferred after tasted once. Our specialties such as ‘Antebi’ rolls with muhammara and mashed potato filling, ‘L‘italiano’ rolls with mozarella, dried tomatoes, and fresh basil filling, ‘Paçanga’ rolls with pastrami, string cheese, and dried tomato filling, ‘sosisli’ rolls with pickled gherkins, sausage, dijon mustard filling attract great attention. In the meantime, we have 5 kinds of vegan flavors. Therefore, the number of vegan customers has been increasing rapidly in recent days. So far, we have always received positive feedback from our target audience. Outside we have an audience that misses the fried rolls made with good ingredients. We appeal to a wide audience from every age group. We also have customers who find the place charming and come looking for a different taste… Children prefer chocolate and hot dog rolls. We take a minimum of 4 roll orders. It is my greatest happiness that different segments like this flavor that I dreamed of… Here we work side by side with Sinem Anarat. New tastes will be added to the menu in the future. I have some new flavors in mind. We will also have alternatives with pumpkins, apples, shrimps or vegetables.”
HOT DOG SARSAK RECIPE BY CHEF EMRE ÇÖTELİOĞLU
Ingredients: 65 gram sausage, 65 gram tomato sauce, 16 gram Dijon mustard, 26 gram string cheese, 6.5 gram caramelized onions, 13 gram gherkin pickles. (for 10)
Directions: Slice the sausage in small cubes. For the tomato sauce, peel and grate tomatoes and cook nicely, then add the sausages. When sausages and tomato sauce are cooked thoroughly turn the heat off. Divide one phyllo pastry into 10 pieces. Place some of the sausage and tomato sauce mix on one of the pieces. Add caramelized onions, mustard, and finely chopped gherkin pickles. Roll the pastry and deep fry. Enjoy!
Opposite corner sarsak
Hot dog sarsak