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The Best Little Fish House in Galata Gets a Bit Bigger

Furreyya -- photo by Yigal Schleifer
Good news for those who have tried to eat at Furreyya Galata Balikcisi, the winning fish house near the Galata tower, only to find the tiny place full: the restaurant has recently remodeled, doubling its number of tables. Bad news for those who have tried to eat at Furreyya, only to find the tiny place full: the restaurant is bigger, but it still only has five tables and seven bar stools.

Still, we’re looking forward to grabbing a meal at the new-and-improved Furreyya, which has become one of our absolute favorite places in town. Besides expanding the place, the owners have put in a new kitchen and have given the restaurant a spiffing up, with a new wooden façade and a completely remodeled interior. The menu remains the same, for now, although one of the cooks told us some new items might be in the works (Ismael, one of the owners, even promised a wine menu at one point, but the presence of a mosque across the street might get in the way of that).

For those not familiar with Furreyya, here’s a bit from our original review [1] of the place:

Located on a busy corner only a stone’s throw from the 13th-century Galata Tower, the restaurant offers a great (and affordable) alternative to eating at one of Istanbul’s fancier fish restaurants, where often you pay too much buck for the bang. Fürreyya’s menu is basic, the bulk of it devoted to whole fish either grilled over hardwood coals or fried in a light dusting of flour. The exceptionally fresh fish, a selection of whatever is in season in the waters around Istanbul and other parts of Turkey, is found in a small refrigerated display case outside the restaurant.

But the menu also holds some very rewarding surprises. Balık koftesi are delicious fish cakes cooked over the charcoal grill and served with a squeeze of homemade basil aioli. On occasion, Fürreyya serves up its tasty take on mantı, tortellini-like miniature pockets of dough that are usually filled with ground meat but here are made with fish. The highlight of the menu, though, may be its most humble offering: the balık durum, a tortilla-like wrap filled with grilled fish and caramelized onions. At 6 lira for a durum, it’s one of Istanbul’s best and tastiest deals.

Address: Serdar-i Ekrem Sok. 2, Beyoglu (Kuledibi)
Telephone: 212-252-4853

(photo by Yigal Schleifer)

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