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Archive for June, 2009

Jun 26
Friday

İsmet Baba: Great Fish for Goodfellas

Filed under Reviews (Eats)

On the Waterfront, at Ismet Baba -- photo by Ansel Mullins

As the ferry approaches the dock at Kuzguncuk, a charming Bosphorus neighborhood on the Asian side, and passengers start scrambling for position at the bow to be the first to hop off, a soft yellow light, rakı-fueled laughter and a whiff of grilled fish seem to guide the boat in safely. The smell, sight and sound of İsmet Baba, a fish restaurant located right next to the ferry dock, pulse out over the Bosphorus, like a flashing neon sign reading, “locals eat here.”

Orhan the Butcher, Mahmut the Bear, Blind Mustafa, Forty Lies Selim and other regulars memorialized in a framed panel by the door aren’t characters from a Turkish mafia movie, but by the looks of their pictures they sure could be. From the VIP table under the portrait of İsmet Baba, these Turkish goodfellas hold court over this simple, traditional fish restaurant as if it were their own clubhouse. Continue…


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