Food & Drink

The boat yard sandwich

I’ve noticed lately that Turkish men are frighteningly adept with knives. Fortunately they seem to put their dexterity with razor sharp implements to good use. The man above is filleting bonito, a type of mackerel used for my favorite sandwich in the whole world — balik ekmek. In Istanbul, you can find these fish sandwiches in just about any seaside spot, especially by high traffic ferry ports. However, my favorite balik ekmek spot just happens to be close to home in the tersane (boat yard).

This grilled oily fish, doused in lemon juice, garnished with onion and lettuce, and then dusted with red pepper flakes (the boat yard’s magic addition to balik ekmek) is the perfect companion to the otherwise bland white loaf bread. You wouldn’t want a dense or particularly flavorful bread, as it wouldn’t soak up the ingredients so perfectly. In my opinion, this is the best street eat anywhere, and ridiculously cheap at 5TL. It also pairs very nicely with a dry rose wine, which, sadly, you can’t find seaside. But, with a little imagination and initiative you can find a way to pair the two while you sit by the Bosporus and watch the freighters slide by.