Balikei Sabahattin – Istanbul Restaurant

Istanbul Fish

I find myself be critical, rather than constructive though I try to find constructive criticism as a means to explaining to readers my point of view. I am sitting in Istanbul, one of our favorite cities on the globe. It has a history some wish to forget, the country is an empire and still acts like an empire. As I walk the streets there are so many things to see, places to go and things to do.

This is a city fronting on the Bosphorus and the fish culture here is on every corner. Now here comes the criticism so get ready. I just cannot get used to the way the Turkish grill fish. They oil it and make the skin darkened on the grill, yet the interior was still flavorful. I think the restaurants are afraid to have the skin stick to the grill and customers will complain, “why is my fish’s skin torn”, so it kind of makes sense.

Having said that, I detest the grilling with oil, as if the grill is filthy and the fish needs to be soaked in oil. More surprising, I went to a fish restaurant that had a tremendous selection of fish. When the waiter asked if we wanted the fish fried and then grilled, I was astonished. He added we use butter and garlic. Is this like Apple tea that they offer tourists?

Anyway we enjoyed the service and cuisine despite the canned octopus that everyone seems to serve. We ordered the Turbot from the Black Sea, whole grilled and served whole. The fish was very good and the owner kind and pleasant.