Catch Of The Day, Grilled The Turkish Way
Anglers fish off Galata Bridge in Istanbul in 2011. The bridge is within site of the modest waterside restaurant Akin Balik.
Bulent Kilic / AFP/Getty Images
Each morning as dawn breaks over the Bosphorus Strait in Turkey, a small drama repeats itself: Massive oil tankers and cargo ships slide past tiny fishing boats bobbing on the surface like bathtub toys.
These intrepid fishermen are out in all weather, in all seasons. In the winter, they catch the rich, oily anchovies, bluefish and mackerel. With spring come the turbot and sea bream, and by summer, sea bass and red mullet are being hawked by the fishmongers.
Istanbul's Karakoy neighborhood sits right on the Golden Horn across from the imposing minarets and towers of the old walled city. New restaurants, cafes and bars are popping up here all the time. But for our purposes, let's stroll just past the fish market to one of the modest restaurants that line the waterside.
Akin Balik -- balik means fish, and Akin's the name of the owner ?? is simplicity itself: a glass case full of fish, a constantly going grill and very little else. It's within sight of the more-visited fish restaurants underneath the Galata Bridge, and not far from the boats where Turks and visitors buy the famous balik ekmek, grilled fish sandwiches.
Akin's brother Gokmen manages the restaurant, and he says they're blessed to be able to take for granted something that worries many would-be fish grillers: whether it's really fresh.
Read the rest at