If you wanted a glass of beer and a plate of fried food to soak up the alcohol, you’d go to a birane rather than a meyhane. The dish you’re most likely to find there is deep-fried mussels, where beer appears in the batter as well as in a glass.
The tradition is to serve the mussels with a tarator (dipping sauce) made with stale bread, walnuts and garlic. Our refined version includes the roe of grey mullet, which makes it a tarama (what the Greeks call a tarama salata ).
In Turkey, tarama is always light beige, because that’s the colour of the roe. I was surprised to find in Australia that tarama salata is pink—and then I learned that it is often artificially coloured. I do not recommend that you buy commercial tarama salata to serve with this dish. If you can’t find the grey mullet roe, make a simple tarator by replacing the roe with 100 g (3½ oz) of walnuts.