Balat is one of Istanbul’s magical neighborhoods with colorful streets and rich cultural heritage. And Smelt and Co. is the best place in this area.
Smelt & Co is named after the word ‘smelt’, which means silverfish and is an endangered species. The owners used the name to raise awareness of this situation. I’m in love with places like these that stand out in their own way.
The decor is so naive, so elegant, and with thoughtful details, so relaxing. The historical texture of the building is also very charming. In the past, it was used as a residence for some of the priests working in the Fener Greek Patriarchate. When you enter the restaurant and step up the stairs, you hear the wooden floor nostalgic noise from the past. I haven’t tried their terrace yet, but if you visit in good weather, I suggest taking a look at the view of Balat from the rooftop.
Their menus are as perfect as the atmosphere. With not many dishes, Smelt and Co. follow a very selective and sustainable approach. The menu changes according to seasonal products, so you may see different recipes and presentations on every visit. For me, the effort and the story behind the food is a work of art.
You must have realized by now that I am in love with the place. As they have limited tables, be sure to plan ahead and secure your reservation to guarantee a memorable evening at this hidden gem of a restaurant.