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Hanegah: Little Fish, Big City


Hanegah's muhlama and hamsi, photo by Ansel Mullins [1]

Around the time that hamsi, our favorite little fish [2], appear in the markets of Istanbul in late fall we become restless for the Black Sea-style cooking we’ve been missing since the previous season. Hamsi (fresh anchovies) are not the only thing to eat in a Black Sea restaurant, but eating in one that doesn’t have hamsi sometimes feels like sitting down for a meal in a BBQ joint that only serves coleslaw.

So as the hamsi start swimming our way, we make up for lost time, revisiting last year’s favorite restaurants and hunting down new discoveries. A recent quest to expand our network of hamsi spots led us to the most pleasant kind of Istanbul dining experience, in which a restaurant in a stunning setting (of which Istanbul has many) is, despite its prime location, run in an utterly down-home way, serving food that is as close to home as you can get. That is the real-estate contradiction that we found at Hanegah on the At Pazarı in Fatih.

Read the rest of this review on Culinary Backstreets [3]. (Editor’s Note: It appears that, due to complaints about fish fry odors, this spot is no longer serving hamsi.)

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