Unlike other fish restaurants, I’m going to suggest you go to Kıyı on a Sunday afternoon. You will feel like you are in Monaco, with bedazzled old ladies peacocking in front of the restaurant smoking from their opera length cigarette holders, cheerful well-off families buzzing inside, finance mogul grandfathers showing their spoiled grandchildren the fresh fish on ice and famous faces from the media circles sending kisses about.
But this warm and fancy feeling of white Turks aside, it is a no-mistake kind of meyhane, heavier on the white table cloth and large fish vibe. You can have your rakı or wine here with excellent meze staples. I suggest upstairs for a better view of the boats and the Bosphorus.
What to order: Kıyı excels at most of their cooking. It is a very no-mistake fish restaurant in that sense. The fish are almost always perfectly cooked. The last time I was there the angler fish shish was a highlight, juicy and tender with bright vegetables. While fish are the specialty of Kıyı, their mezzes are also among the best in the city. If you go to Kıyı and leave without trying the tarama have you really been to Kıyı? It’s definitely airier and softer than those of famous specialty stores like Tunç or Reşat. Perfectly whipped fish roe that goes
From the hot appetizers, the deep fried courgette slices and the potato croquettes are my favorites. The fried calamari is also top notch.
What to know: Fish restaurants are extremely seasonal in Turkey. Not only because of fishing bans during the off-season but also because customers demand in-season and fresh fish. As long as you know what type of fish and cooking technique you like, the establishment can guide you in choosing. Tell them if you prefer big or small size, grilled, fried or boiled.
One thing to beware here is that if you are a small party, it would make sense to ask for half portions or note that you don’t want a big plate of mezzes. They tend to be bigger here than other classic meyhanes.