Cibalikapı Balıkçısı is a fish restaurant so nostalgic that it’s likely to make you feel as though you’re in an old Turkish film. The restaurant, which is next door to the historicCibalikapı in Cibali with its timber building and flooring, wooden tables and chairs, decorative stone plaques, and old Turkish music, will make you feel transported to Istanbul in the 1950s. The restaurant boasts a spectacular view reaching from Hasköy to Galata Kulesi (Tower) and Topkapı Palace, and a menu of one delicious seafood dish after another.
Menu items include stuffed zucchini blossoms, lettuce stuffed with seabass, sardines in vine leaves, saraylı (pickled fish), grilled mussels with parmesan cheese, fried calamari, and grilled octopus. Among the herbs and mezzes: chicory, rock samphire, ‘Girit ezmesi’ (crushed feta cheese and pistachio nuts), topic (layered chickpea pâté), radish leaf, silverbeet; and for dessert, mixed tahini and molassescooked in the oven and served with icecream, or artichoke dessert.
As you enjoy your meal prepared by chef Mehmet Aras, you will be listening to the rebetika Greek music that is playing in the background.
Cibalikapı Balıkçısı also has a branch on the Asian side of the city with the exact same menu. Though it’s actually a seafood restaurant, anyone looking for a more meyhane-like atmosphere can also enjoy themselves here in a more quality, selective alternative. They also have a garden for use during the summer months. The restaurant, which also serves lunch, has the capacity to host up to 70 people.