Monday, February 6, 2017


Karaköy, Beyoğlu - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°01'21.1"N 28°58'21.9"E / 41.022528, 28.972750

Karakoy Balikcisi / Beyoglu - Istanbul photo karakoy_balikcisi104.jpg


Tarihi Karaköy Balıkçısı Grifin in Karaköy is place, which has a history of 100 years. Here, in this centennial place, we invite you on a journey of 2500 years, accompanied by unique flavors. Exguisite flavours of İstanbul savoured by a magnificient post-card view of the historical peninsula.

Tarihi Karaköy Balıkçısı Grifin, one of the oldest fish restaurants of İstanbul, which has been serving since 1923 at the entrance of Grifin Han, is now serving in the evenings as well as, on the topmost floor of the centennial Grifin Han Tarihi Karaköy Balıkçısı Grifin, fame of which goes well beyond borders, is praised on the international media such as on The New York Times, Hearld Tribune, Japanese TV and German press, to name a few.

Tarihi Karaköy Balıkçısı Grifin, forms a perfect and unique whole, by combining a dazzling view that pans out between Selimiye and Patrikhane with unequalled flavors. An amazing atmosphere, in which you will enjoy a vivid historical image, in which all of Haydarpaşa, Selimiye Kışlası, Sarayburnu, Topkapı Sarayı, Ayasofya, Yeni Camii, Galata Köprüsü, Haliç and Fatih Camii is spread out, and a distinct experience awaits you.

Tarihi Karaköy Balıkçısı Grifin, presents you the opportunity to bear witness to the history, through its perfect flavors that bear the scent of İstanbul. You are invited to an experience in flavors to be embedded in memory,  which includes countless options; lovely scent of the olive oil produced exclusively in Burhaniye, which you will pick up as it is being served, taste of the tomatoes in the fresh salad, the special fish soup, tasting of which will be accompanied by fresh bread baked in a firewood oven and finally, our pride and joy, sea bass cooked in paper wrap and skewered sole , to name just a few.

While our delicious appetizers, which will provide a pleasant introduction to he perfect fish dishes you will taste, present you distinguished alternatives, which range between salt bonito and hamsi bird, you will wish the pleasure, which you will derive after dinner from the custom prepared dessert, would never end.

Tarihi Karaköy Balıkçısı Grifin, creates the perfect atmosphere to accompany this dazzling view and invites you to experience a feast that combines the soul-soothing music and unique flavors.  Tarihi Karaköy Balıkçısı Grifin, which was deemed worthy of the title “The Best Restaurant of the historical Peninsula” by Gecce Mekan Oscars 2009, has also been praised by the Turkish press constantly and deemed worthy of many awards by the best gourmets.

One of my favorite places in Istanbul, Tarihi Karakoy Balikcisi Grifin restaurant in Karaköy is one of the city’s best kept secrets. One of the oldest fish restaurants of Istanbul, this historic locale has been serving delicious dishes since 1923. At the entrance of Grifin Han, it has a stunning view of Istanbul, one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in the world. Also, the sea bass is to die for!

Walk through the run-down quarter behind the Karaköy Balıkçılar Çarşısı (Karaköy Fish Market) and you’ll come upon this utter gem, one of the few old-style fish restaurants left on the Golden Horn. With seafood being such an expensive proposition in most of İstanbul’s restaurants, it’s incredibly refreshing to encounter top-class, perfectly prepared dishes that are within everyone’s budget - and that’s what’s on offer here.

There’s no other word for the food here except fabulous, with the dirt-cheap fish soup possibly being the best you’ll ever eat. The original restaurant is only open for lunch, but the same owners have opened an evening venue, the Tarihi Karaköy Grifin, which has great views over the Golden Horn. It must be said, though, that this part of town is badly lit and can be a little bit scary at night.

This fish restaurant really stands out among the others in Karaköy, and is one of the top few places for fish soup in all of Istanbul. It is a little pricier than its competitors but is very much worth it; the fish is extremely fresh and, crucially, wonderfully cooked and prepared. Don’t forget to order some fresh salad to accompany the fish - delicious and carefully prepared with skinned tomatoes and particularly tasty olive oil.

Kağıtta Levrek (fish cooked in paper) is hard to pull of but here it is a masterpiece, perfectly steamed, with a delicious smell unleashed as the paper is unwrapped. Try the chopped chunks of fish grilled on a skewer, which is succulent and almost sweet. The soup, as mentioned, is excellent, thick and hearty with added vegetables - almost filling enough for a meal, but that would mean missing out on the main course - unthinkable.

In Karaköy’s Perşembe Pazarı, a historic commercial district on the shores of the Golden Horn, the dining scene is decidedly no-frills. Simple lunch spots thrive by day on the business of hungry and busy people buying and selling hardware - a meat and potatoes crowd. Any white tablecloth in these market streets is probably bound in twine and sold in bulk. Come nightfall, the streets are empty and the shops all locked up, not a hungry soul in sight. It seems even the street lights in this part of town don’t bother to do their thing.  Which makes the appearance of Grifin, a high-end seafood restaurant with an up-the-Bosporus vibe and sweeping views, a baffling culinary mirage.

But the restaurant, tucked inside the dangerously ramshackle and charmingly decrepit backstreets of the Perşembe Pazarı, makes a little more sense up close. It is located on the top floor of the same building as the old seafood standard Tarihi Karaköy Balıkçısı, a lunch spot long considered one of the best addresses in town for a no nonsense, pure fish dining experience. Grifin is, in fact, the nocturnal alter ego of the downstairs, sharing a kitchen, menu and wait staff.

Cocktails are served on the rooftop terrace, which brings you unimaginably close to Istanbul’s Old City, a panoramic vista that restaurateurs and diners alike dream of. Who wants a 360-degree view of shabby rooftops when you can have 270 degrees of unobstructed magic. Large windows in the dining room below ensure that there is not a bad seat in the house.

Relieved to find all of the old favorites from Tarihi Karaköy Balıkçısı on the menu, we started the meal with a bowl of fish soup - more a chowder than bisque - teeming with tasty chunks of fish, diced potatoes, carrot slivers, bay leaves and lemon. Among the hot appetizers was a unique tempura-like dish made with hamsi (fresh anchovy), the batter crisp and light and slightly sweet, almost like a churro.  Our table approved and ordered a second round of this appetizer along with a fine calamari whose garlicky yogurt sauce tasted just fine on a piece of bread once the squid ran out.

There is no showmanship on the fish side of the menu. No special sauces or pyrotechnics. Extremely high standards of quality and freshness, meanwhile, keep the daily fish offerings minimal. Fortunately, on the menu were two of our Tarihi Karaköy Balıkçısı favorites: the sea bass cooked in paper, kagitta levrek, and the grilled skewer of sole, dil sis.

The sea bass arrived steaming in its paper vessel, the boneless flesh succulent and tender. A fragrance of tomatoes, peppers and lemon wafted out at us, leaving most of the table wishing that this was their entrée. A similar effect was created by the dil sis, plump little fillets of sole that are rolled up and grilled on a skewer an that seem to be channeling a sea scallop with their sweet flesh and creamy texture.


WEB SITE : Tarihi Karaköy Balıkçısı

E-Mail :
Phone : +90 212 251 1371
Fax : +90 212 251 1371

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