Eating amazingly fresh seafood is one of the joys of living here in Istanbul!
I usually make it to one of the “Balik Pazar” about once a week. I probably should shop there more often since we are practically surrounded by water from the nearby Black Sea, Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara. (I blame it on my carnivore-like tendencies since I grew up in the Midwest.)
This past weekend, I finally had recovered enough and felt like my normal self. Luckily, we also had visitors coming from Bulgaria and they wanted to eat at a fish restaurant. One of my girlfriends whom I worked with in New York City is originally from Bulgaria and happened to be visiting her family back in her hometown.
Of course, Jason and I were happy to show off our city! Taksim – is the best place for guests to experience Istanbul’s varied nightlife at its best. On Saturday night, the main street of Istiklal Caddesi was completely full of people!
For dinner, I had made a reservation at Asmalımescit Balikçisi, Asmalımescit Mah. Ve Sofyalı Sk. No: 5/A in Tünel-Beyoğlu. (I think the restaurant has been renamed to Rakici Asmalımescit.) This was my first reservation I made entirely in Turkish! I was quite proud of myself! For the most part, I just had to know my numbers.
We selected a yogurt and pursulane dip, cold octopus salad, patlıcan salatası, mackerel, and some other type of fish. Of course, we also started the meal off with raki, the popular Turkish anisette-flavored liqueur.
|Çoban Salatası and a fried liver meze.|
Jason said they are like “fish French fries” and you must eat them while they are hot. (I had previously tried hamsi twice at a small restaurant in Yenikoy.)
Apparently, I have a lot to learn about this little fish. Just this morning, one of my local friends told me that I need to learn how to make hamsi with a fresh tomato sauce. There’s another Turkish recipe where the hamsi are deboned, filleted and stuffed with various goodies. Well, I’m happy to learn. Sign me up!
Dinner lasted nearly three hours, and the raki kept flowing. It was fun to catch up with my friend and learn about Bulgaria from her, her brother and his wife. It sounds like Bulgaria would be good weekend trip for us, especially during the winter months for skiing. It looks like we can drive to some of the ski resorts in about five to six hours.
|My friend, Rosalina, and me|
Hopefully, we can cross another country off of our list and experience a different cuisine!
|This isn't the best photo, but at least you can get a general idea of how crowded the streets are at night.|