If you asked me what my favorite food is in Istanbul and what place would I never tire of going to, my answer would be Balik (Fish) restaurants and Set Balik. Set is on the Bosphorus, pretty near Sariyer actually, in Kirecburnu. The food is, in one word, incredible! and the prices – let’s just say it might be one of the most reasonable deals you will find of it’s kind. You have to be very careful about going to fish restaurants in Istanbul, you might end up leaving your shirt. Always ask to see a menu and ask about the prices of the fish (They usually show you the fresh catch or tell you about it and then you may end up being the fresh catch) I love Set because I don’t remember ever paying an exorbitant price there.
The way it works in a fish restaurant is either they bring out a tray with all the little cold mezes and you pick from it or they have a counter where you can see and point to what you want. Go wild and try anything that catches your eye. In Set I can just point to anything with my eyes closed and I know it will be good. Just remember there is a major difference in prices between those meze’s that have seafood in it and those are made basically with vegetables.
Then your waiter will ask you about the sicak (hot) meze’s. Go crazy, but most of the time if you do a lot of mezes you will not have any room left for fish. The rule is that you either eat meze or fish and salad in these types of places. No Istanbul experience is ever complete without at least one meal in a Balik Restaurant.
Set Balik Lokantasi
Haydar Aliyev Caddesi, No. 18
Kirecburnu, Istanbul, 34467