We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“AWFUL....please avoid!!!!!!!!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Symbol Balik

Symbol Balik
Galata Kpr, Istanbul, Turkey (Sirkeci)
5278333
Improve this listing
Ranked #3,469 of 10,924 restaurants in Istanbul
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Neighborhood: Sirkeci
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“AWFUL....please avoid!!!!!!!!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

We wish we had read the reviews before we chose this place. Looked nice, and the boss out front promised 2 free glasses of wine, free fruit platter and 2 free Turkish teas. Well....after we were seated the service disappeared. Fish accompanied by "potatoes and vegetables" amounted to 5 cold chips, 1 piece of tomato, some red onion and a lettuce leaf. The fish was OK - didn't blow our minds.

Service was absolutely terrible. After 30 minutes of being ignored after our plates were cleared I asked for the bill. Hit up with a hidden 10% service charge (not sure what kind of service they offered) plus trying to charge us for the bread and water they had on the table. When we complained at the end of the meal we were basically laughed at or ignored and sent on our way.

Please don't make the same mistake we did!!!!

  • Visited October 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

109 reviews from our community

19% Recommend
    6
    15
    10
    20
    58
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Voorburg, The Netherlands
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Lousy food, miserable service, avoid this place like the plague!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2012

When walking by this restaurant we where stopped by a front guy trying to lure us in.

We told him one of us did not like fish, no problem he said, we also have meat.
After taking our seat we where given the menu and ordered drinks. So far so good.

I choose beefsteak and my girlfriend choose fish casserole. The waiter did not bother to ask me how i wanted my steak (raw, medium, well done etc.) i found out why later. We also ordered wine leaves as a starter, additional fries and an additional drink.

The wine leaves will filled with rice only and no minced beef.

I was given a plate with what looked like a dried out smashed piece of roasted meat. For a moment I thought that I had been served the wrong dish but found out that that was supposed to be the beefsteak. The rest of the plate was filled with maybe 10 half cold uncrispy fries and 2 table spoons of half cold rice.

My girlfriend who ordered the casserole was given a plate filled with fried (yes you read that right, fried!) fish covered with tomato sauce and cheese sprinkled on top that was clearly not gratinated but put on afterwards.

The additional fries never came (luckily) and I never received the additional drink either.

When we finished out diner we where asked if we liked it. When we complained about the food they appeared uninterested just saying "yes, yes" etc. We left without giving a tip and I loudly said "we will never ever come here again".

The only thing nice about this restaurant is the view but you can get that same view from the neighboring and probably far better restaurants.

Our advice for this restaurant, fire your whole staff as they are probably the reason why the place is so awful.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Upminster, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Con artists! Nothing short of extortion, BEWARE - avoid like the plague is my advice!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

Were advised to visit a restaurant on the Bridge overlooking the Bosphorous, where you could get lovely fish with a beautiful view.

We entered the bridge and it was not long before we arrived at this restaurant. A 'friendly' front man stopped us, promising us a 'free' drink and a varied fish menu. We said one of our party didn't like fish, he said no problem, they also have a separate varied menu.

We sat down, were served our 'free' drinks, then given a fish menu. We asked for the alternative menu, but the 'surly' waiter ridiculed him for coming to a fish restaurant and not wanting fish! We said this had all been explained before we came in! He pulled a face and went off to get the menu, which was thrown down on to the table with discust. We should have paid the bill and left at this point.

The waiter came up with a tray of fresh fish, but we insisted on asking the prices. The price per kilo was extraordinary! Beware of this. We said no, we will order from the menu,
the waiter 'stormed off' with the tray of fish. I ordered swordfish steaks, which were overcooked. The meals generally were poor standard and not well presented for the money. The calamari were overcooked.

A number of us wanted raki and the waiter suggested a small bottle as this would be cheaper. When it was being served I asked the cost. He said 120 lira! We said take it away, that is no saving! He said only joking! 60 lira. Still expensive for a small bottle, by now, we couldn't wait to get out of this place.

We asked for the bill which was over 600 lira! Never in all the years in visiting Turkey have I experienced such rude and arrogant service, poor quality food with such ridiculously high prices!!!!

When the bill arrived, we had already decided not to leave a tip. There was a 10% charge added. We asked what was this, the waiter said it was tax. This is blatantly wrong to add this in Turkey, but we were tired and wanted to get out so we left it. We paid the exact amount and the waiter said "where is my tip!". We said we were not leaving a tip and he stormed off

Such a shame, this restaurant is in Istanbul, a beautiful City, - just avoid Symbol like the plague would.be my advice

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basildon, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Rip Off”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

We were lured in with a promise of free drinks but ended up regretting this wholesale.
The service was abysmal and the waiter was extremley rude and patronising to one of our party who didn't want fish. After trying to sell us overpriced fish by the kilo the meal was very mediocre. He also had added tax on to the bill, which you never normally get in Turkey and had the audacity to ask us for a tip. He didn't get one!!!!. Never had this before in Turkey and would not ut me off as we go at least once a year. Please avoid, there are plenty of other restaurants to go to.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great view but watch for the unordered extras on the bill”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

I totally agree with the other reviewers.
They pounce on walkers under the Galtea bridge and then it is high pressure selling all the way.
My experience was being billed for more Jumbo shrimps at TRY50 each than I thought I was getting. Cost me another TRY100 for them and also another TRY18 for fruit platter which we didn't order. When you attempt to dispute the bill their English skills disappear.
The only way to not get ripped off is either avoid them completely or discuss every item you order and nderstand the expense before the order is sent to the kitchen which is hardly a pleasant way to enjoy a holiday.
The restaurant is a blot on the reputation of an honest and friendly Turkish people.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Symbol Balik also viewed

 

Been to Symbol Balik? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Symbol Balik, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.