It is not often I have come across unique and tasty offerings at a Turkish seafood restaurant; however, Port Restaurant surprised all three of us with the variety and quality of their mezes (appetizers) and desserts.
We had a late lunch on the breezy quay overlooking the marina. Service was pleasant – we said we wanted some mezes we had read about, including octopus and had heard that their desserts were quite good. The waiter told us he would bring mezes until we told him to stop. Thus we spent more than an hour enjoying a sequence of mezes starting with an Aegean Greens Salad with basil and mint and a garlicky “deniz borulcesi” (Aegean seaweed). Both excellent. The calamari dish was tender and good and the octopus sizzling in a cast iron dish was spicy though a bit salty. The real surprises and exceptional dishes were a “Pazi Sarma” (chard wrapping a delightful mix of seafood – shrimp and octopus - with a heart-stopping sauce) and the Otlu Kofte (a grilled cylinder of fish filled with greens indigenous to the Aegean region).
We skipped the fish as it was a late lunch but had heard of the desserts at Port. On the menu were a variety of homemade baklava: amazing, not honey-laden imitations but melt-in-your-mouth pistachio-laden creations with a taste we could not define beyond “a hint of cinnamon”, “chocolate” and “perhaps a whiff of nutmeg”. Truly unusual with ice cream filled “irmik tatlisi” (semolina) as a parting taste.
If you are a “foodie”, check this restaurant out. We will go again. It has Istanbul prices but if you enjoy a culinary experience, you should not be disappointed. Kudos to the chefs at Port Restaurant.
If you own or manage Port Restaurant, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.