We like to think of İnciraltı, a laid-back meyhane in the sleepy Bosphorus-side Beylerbeyi neighborhood, as a destination restaurant – not so much because of the food, but because of the destination itself.
Not that there’s anything wrong with the food here, which is reliably well made. The meze tray at İnciraltı (which means “under the fig tree” in Turkish) is brought to your table carrying all the classics, plus a few welcome and tasty surprises, such as the zingy brined twigs of the caper plant and a sea bass fillet that had been cured in a piquant sauce redolent of curry. Among the excellent mains, we had sea bass again, this time grilled wrapped inside grape vine leaves, and meltingly soft uykuluk (sweetbreads) that were also grilled and dusted with oregano and red pepper. Both were winners.
But it’s İnciraltı’s location that will have us coming back, especially if we’re looking for an opportunity to take an excursion without leaving Istanbul.
Read the rest of the review at Culinary Backstreets .