It is time to visit places under open air to eat some food. In this edition we emphasized and visited coastal restaurants; Papalina, Yüksel Balık and Façyo from the Princess Island; Galatalife opened recently at Galata and the hidden paradise of the French Street, Cezayir.
Papalina: The Pearl of Marina When you mention a seafood restaurant in Istanbul, the first thing that comes to mind is Ataköy Marina. There is a restaurant inside that represents the real authentic seafood. I listened to Erhan Ece that is known for his principle of flawless entertainment before serving. Because Mr. Ece is in love with Balıkesir, Ayvalık and especially Cunda everything comes from Ege to Papalina except for fish. Olive oil, cheeses, thyme, basil and herbs brought Aegean breeze to Istanbul. Even though I tried half of almost 20 appetizers the richness of appetizer plates saturated the eye. I tasted very successful meals in the tour starting from appetizer plates. Grouper with curcuma and ginger, grouper with sesames and walnuts, mackerel with mustard and sea bass with basil sauce are only some of them. Blended with herbs and seasonings, deep water fish have flawless taste and presentation.
Fisherman's salad crowning the table is appetizing with its appearance. When it came to hot meals, the banquet continued. I strongly recommend to try grilled tube squid and grilled octopus with olive oil and lots of pepper. Bass stuffed with lots of cheese is a great main course on its own. Out of main courses I tried something I refused to describe wrong: "rising tandoori". Potatoes, peppers and tomatoes stewing together in lots of olive oil in the rising tandoori will leave a remarkable taste in your mouth. As per the prices, they are not more or less than any meal you would eat at a chic presented beautiful venue. A day spent at Papalina means the guarantee of time full of flavor and comfort.
Special notes about Papalina Taste of the Aegean cuisine Try the grouper in sesame and walnuts Tease your mouth with rising tandoori
Ataköy Marina, Tel: (212) 560 12 70
Yüksel Balık: Story of the Great Lakerda Yüksel Balık, the most popular venue of the Yeşilköy Coast. This popularity does not just come from celebrities visiting this place. Yüksel Balık is a place with a rich menu, quality personnel and it affects from its service to its kitchen. Its owner Yüksel Karakış is one of the most fun and sincere managers you would ever know. There is no resistance to anything ordinary at his restaurant. I want to share Lakerda's story he told me while having a conversation with lots of laughs: a bonito migrating between September-October from the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara is caught by fishermen before it gets to the Sea of Marmara. Bonito or tunny fish migrating to the Sea of Marmara loses lots of grease because the water was very clear and the fish's taste palled. This is why, the lakerda you eat at Yüksel is made from bonito caught at the Black Sea and tastes great. They say, it tastes like candy, same as that. You will not get enough of hot shrimp salad. Grated cheese that smoothes the hotness of the salad is a great appetizer before any main course. Everything tastes the way it should: appetizers, salads and grilled blue fish. When souffle, a classic of sea food restaurants, comes in a casserole dish with a special cream on the side, it is great tasting combination. Yüksel Balık that maintains its standards high has caught a reasonable line price wise. When you go to Yeşilköy, don’t return without going to Yüksel Balık.
Special notes about Yüksel It is the fish restaurant of celebrities Lakerda as soft as candy Very arguable souffle
Liman Sokak No:3, Yeşilköy Tel: (212) 574 34 34
Cezayir: You will not abandon it after you have visited it once Cezayir reminds of a small forest in the patio of a historical building on the French Street, it is a very comforting restaurant wrapped in green. I guarantee that with its quietness, purity of air, a nice design created by its quiet atmosphere will make this restaurant get on the list of your must-go places. I started trying the most admired dishes with the help of assistant chef Mr. Volkan. I saw that the flavors are so beautiful they will definitely conquer the hearts of the guests. Out of starters presented there were: yufka (lavash bread) stuffed with shrimp, savory pastry pockets with cheese, grilled eggplant and vegetables, Cezayir pastry pockets with dried apricots and pastrami served with rose hip marmalade. You can order starters with no hesitation. The pastry does not use any instant lavash bread. I haven't tasted Hellim cheese anywhere but in salads before. Until when I tasted it in Cezayir stuffed into grape leaves, grilled with almonds. This hellim cheese with lots of Olive oil is a great success. Smudgy salmon and Cezayir Tenderloin are the ones receiving the highest points from me. Because the sauces used are all hand made they feed you the dishes with their great flavor and aroma. Out of deserts the ones I highly recommend are these: Angel's hair desert with custard, angel's hair desert flavored with mulberry molasses is a light desert. After that, there comes Green Apple Parfait, another light selection with its apple liqueur aroma is my other strong suggestion. Cezayir, with its reasonable prices will grant you with a wonderful day.
Special notes about Cezayir Hand made fresh ingredients used Its environment represents a small forest Hellim cheese stuffed into grape leaves is a different experience
Hayriye Caddesi 12, Galatasaray Tel: (212) 245 48 92
Galata Life: A modern restaurant in history A miracles to those who love Galata! There is another addition to Galata venues: Galata Life. Despite being open for only 2 months, I saw a very packed restaurant. This place also attracts tourists and is so warm and sincere that even if your meal is over, you will order more drinks to enjoy it even more and prolong your stay. The top floor of this venue managed by Özge-Umut İmren couple is an apart hotel owned by the young couple as well. Even though it was such a hectic day, I really liked the fact that they served every table with care and smile. When it comes to tasting different flavors I came across a menu blending local and classic tastes. Chicken roll is so light and tasty, especially for those watching their weight. Cracked wheat pilaf cooked with mint, home made tomato paste and sweet onions is just like the one from your mom. Home made dumplings, cut soup is the local tastes presented. Again something from the Tokat region called "Bat" which is definitely worth trying. Bat, which is eaten in Tokat region by cutting bread together with grape leaves, comes in its simple way at Galatalife. Do you say that local tastes are not for me? Then you will like the chicken schnitzel seasoned and served with lots of garnish. The wrap made with tomato sauce, mushrooms and small pieces of meat is also a great success. The wrap is not made from an instant lavash bread; a thicker version of crepe dough is used instead and is handmade. You should try the home made lemonade with your meals. The prices in this rich menu are very reasonable. You can fill your table the way you want with these affordable prices.
Special notes about Galatalife Local tastes are at this address Try the crepe wrap Chicken roll is a creative taste
Şahkulu Mahallesi Galipdere Street No:75, Galata Tel: (212) 245 23 15
Façyo: The restaurant experiencing the miracle of Princess Island With the summer coming the island tourism also livens up. When you got to the Princess Island do not even hesitate to go to the place that I discovered: Façyo. It is overlooking the sea, has wild flowers on the tables and reminds of old Turkish movies with its atmosphere which made me admire Façyo. I also did not forget Uncle Beraati with his smile and courtesy that I listened to with regards to Façyo and the Island. Façyo's history goes way back. It is one of the first venues of the Island and brings nostalgia for the past to today.
Their appetizers are made according to old Greek appetizers. Because the Island served to Greek population for a long time, the cooking technique of the fish, types of fish chosen are very much alike with the ones presented in the Greek taverns. Ada Tekiri and Fried squash are the famous dishes of Façyo. If the squid is grilled it will be in the center of the table with lots of olive oil and herbs. As per the price of the day when you eat your fish and drink your raki Façyo again differs in this subject. Together with your appetizers, fish and drinks the meals at Façyo are quite economic.
Special notes about Façyo Definitely try the Ada Tekiri There is a Greek tavern environment The prices are reasonable
Gülistan Street No: 26, Büyükada Tel: (216) 382 60 63