July 6, 2011 Off

Balikci Sabahattin (Istanbul: Sultanahmet)

By in 12: Istanbul

Balikci Sabahatin
Balikci SabahatinBalikci Sabahatin
The old town of Istanbul is very charming and atomspheric but it’s known to be a desert of good food because it’s very touristy. Tourist traps are everywhere so locals hardly cross over to dine here except for few places, one of which is Balikci Sabahatin, a seafood restaurant open since 1945. It’s situated in a cute red house with lots of tables at the outdoor patio. It’s very close to our first hotel so we went there for dinner on our first night at Istanbul.

Balikci SabahatinBalikci Sabahatin
They are known for fresh grill fish but they’re not cheap. So we aimed for the mezes (small plates) which they’re also known for. It was also my first time trying raki, the anise flavor alcohol drink. I didn’t like it at first but I grew to like it later. It does go well with meze.
Rice with mussels – very good! Flavorful, lots of cinnamon were used.

Balikci Sabahatin
Grill Squid –  Their grill squid is known to be the best in town and I think it’s right on. This is really amazing and we tried to order this at other places but it just not the same. Definitely one of the best dishes we had in the entire trip.

Balikci SabahatinBalikci Sabahatin
Balikci SabahatinBalikci Sabahatin
Tomato and cucumber salad, refreshing. Apparently they make their own olive oil.
Chilies in olive oil – not very spicy.
Avocado with shrimp and mash fava beans, both are very tasty and went well with bread.

Everything was fresh and light tasting. We actually got very full from these meze so we definitely didn’t need main course (grill fish) at all. It’s better to go easy on the first night anyways.

Balikci SabahatinBalikci Sabahatin

complimentary strawberries and fruit with pistachios (I forgot what the fruit was…). The strawberries were so sweet!

There’re lots of complain on the service on the internet about this place. The service was a little slow in general for us but it wasn’t that big of a deal. It was a great start for our trip!

Balikci Sabahattin
Cankurtaran Mh., Şehit Hasan Kuyu Sokak 1, Istanbul, Turkey
+90 212 458 1824

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