When deciding where to eat in Fethiye, Hisaronu, Ölü Deniz, and Ovacik I at first relied heavenly on TripAdvisor. It has been more successful in the past.
Maybe the thing I was looking most forward to on my vacation to Ovacik, Turkey, was the food and the Turkish restaurants. The Turkish kitchen should be brilliant if it can match my favorite restaurant @ home, and why wouldn’t it? Everyone (at least two people I know) were telling me the food in Turkey is delicious. Heavenly kebabs, nothing like the kind sold by street vendors here in Norway.
Restaurants in Fethiye
Mozaik Bahçe Restaurant
It took us a while to find this central restaurant (since it’s not seaside nor in the old town, but just in between; close to the PTT and behind Domino’s Pizza), but it was worth the walking back and forth for one hour to enjoy dinner at Mozaik Bahçe Restaurant.
I welcome Traditional Eastern Turkish cuisine if it tastes like this!
First meal was a Stuffed Chicken, easily the best meal I enjoyed while on my vacation. Lots of different flavors that actually go together, so delicious I just couldn’t stop myself. But, I think I did myself a favor as ordered a yoghurt a dip on the side, which complemented the dish very well.
My rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
Second meal enjoyed at Mozaik Bahce was a ‘Barbeque Chicken Wrap’ (chicken is the trend with me as you will notice); delicious and perfectly grilled. If only I had ordered a dip on the side for this meal, but I didn’t and the rich taste was overshadowed by the dryness in my mouth. Yes, something was definitely lacking. I have never dined in a Turks home, but I am curious as to whether they would serve this wrap with a dip, or if they prefer it without. Of course the dip is there for me to order it as well, but it is under the ‘Starters’ section so it doesn’t really give away that it could be a great complement as a side dish.
My rating: ♥♥♥/♥
All in all, perfectly grilled and baked meals both times, and delicious tastes, both times. The winner!
Restaurants in Hisaronu
Plenty of restaurants to choose from in Hisaronu, and you are practically dragged inside by the eager owners whom more than often demand you to look at their menus even if you didn’t come to eat. I found this custom a bit annoying and uncomfortable, as I don’t know how to politely brush them away. I feel bad if I don’t say anything and just walk by, but if I answer back to their calls they do too good a job of luring me in.
Any great food experiences? No, but some were better than others.
The owner outside invited us in by saying ‘I know everyone says their food is good, but really ours is the best. This is my restaurant. If you don’t like the meal then I will give you your money back’.
I had a Chicken stuffed with nuts, and my choice of side dish were a fresh salad + rice. No chips for me if I can choose! YAY.
The presentation put me off slightly. The fresh salad consisted of some green leaves, and almost one piece of a tomato slashed in two. What is better than one portion rice? Two portions of rice!? Very odd. The salad didn’t do anything for me, and the rice was just OK, but necessary as a side dish for this meal. The chicken was good, but a bit on the dry-side. What was good was the white cream sauce. It was as good as the one my mother makes, which is my favorite sauce in th whole world! For this I compliment the restaurant,, but altogether the flavors were not brought out.
The waiter asked for our opinion (Thomas didn’t touch muss of the mess on his plate; lamb kebab mixed with melted cheese and mashed potatoes), and Thomas was honest saying the food was dry and didn’t do it for him. The waiter was cool and said something about different tastes, but Thomas was not having any of that and just said once more that the dish was ‘dry’, but the lamb was good. The conversation between us and the owner was awkward as Thomas was honest with him as well, but the owner could not understand how a dish consisting of melted cheese and mashed potatoes could be regarded ‘dry’. ‘Everyone says they love our food!’, was his shocked response. And I believe him. I did hear other guests saying they loved the food. I don’t want to be too bold, but I think the British that come here appreciate a ‘heavier’ meal more than a ‘tasteful’ one. Or are our taste buds that different? The owner asked me about my chicken and I said I liked it, but Thomas then said ‘She’s lying!’. Embarrassing…
My rating: ♥♥♥
The place looks very inviting, and the guests (some of them returning we gathered) seemed happy, so instead of choosing the next door The Olive Tree Restaurant I wanted to try Kafkas Restaurant. Hmm. The most disappointing meal for me in this town. By looking at the plate I didn’t believe this, and the rice + dip + chickpeas salad were great, but the chicken was not the right color, nor did it feel properly grilled (sticky bites), so I didn’t finish my meal. Our waiter did not seem to care to ask us about the food, and forgot my order of water, so I’m sure they are busy enough. Maybe just a bad coincidence this particular night in my case, but it was disappointing.
My rating: ♥♥
Mamma Mia Ristorante Italiano
My craving for Italian never seems to end, and Mamma Mia Ristorante Italiano is located at the beginning of the road (if you are coming from Ovacik). The waiter was very cheeky, making a lot of jokes, making up for the stupidity I felt when ordering a pizza ‘Extravagante’ swapping the mushrooms for pineapples. I’m sure they must hate it when customers do this to their own made-up-dishes, but a fresh pineapple is a feast on every pizza. Truly enjoyed it, especially the pineapple!
My rating: ♥♥♥
Restaurants in Ölü Deniz
Buzz Beach Bar
Believe the hype. Buzz Beach Bar (or Buzz Grill) stands out both on the drink and dine scene in Ölü Deniz. Reservations are recommended during the evening, but if you don’t mind waiting you can probably get a table anyways!
I had the ‘Honey Mustard Chicken’ and it was delicious; flavors well combined with a lot of tasteful greens. Best meal I had in Ölü Deniz. I did want to try the ‘Thai Green Curry’, but there were no vegetables (only chicken) in that dish so I am glad I didn’t opt for that one.
My rating: ♥♥♥♥
Again guided by TripAdvisor the choice fell on #2 in the area; Cloud 9. Thomas was not satisfied with his ‘Stuffed Chicken with Muhsoom Sauce‘, but I do think his expectations were too high. By the time we ate here I had come to terms with the fact that the area is made for tourists, the British tourists.
My chicken and mashed potatoes was a heavy one, but I ate it all so that must mean it was good. The brocoli was fresh and almost hard to chew through, loved that. The disappointment was the gravy covering the kitchen. It was just plain boring gravy, adding nothing. The waiters were running in every direction, but I guess this is the case when one person has to hold the tray, and another waiter has to unload it. When we ordered water from our waiter, he delegated the order to another waiter. Oh well, I would come here again, but I don’t know what else I would eat.
My rating: ♥♥♥
I also tried a pancake at Cloud 9, a Gözleme with chocolate and one with just sugar and lemon. That’s a lot of sugar! It was OK, but really nothing compared to the delicious banana pancakes in Bo Phut, Thailand.
My rating: ♥♥
The menu at Daphne Garden seemed very promising, as did the premises, so we decided to eat one of our last meals here. The bread served for starters tasted like yesterday’s waffles. I was missing Norwegian brown cheese. The waiter did not seem to comprehend or care about our order, but he had comprehended. Then the Champions League match started, and the volume was disco-on-a-Saturday-night-at-1-am-high. The ambience was lost, and the romantic atmosphere was gone instantly. What is it with these soccer and rugby matches that seem so important here?! The restaurants seem more keen on advertising their sports channels than their dishes. Once again proof that we are not this areas target audience. Thomas’ tried ‘Beyti kebab’ this time, and his verdict was that it was average. I had the ‘Daphne’s Traditional Meatballs’. Meatballs under mashed potatoes, under melted cheese. What a weird and nauseating combination! I should have gone with my gut, but everything about ‘traditional meatballs’ sounds inviting to me.
My rating: ♥♥
The HangOut is right next to Cloud 9. The interior looks very inviting, and no one is pushing you to come inside. 5 stars for the atmosphere and the staff. Thomas loved his ‘Hangout Burger’ and the presentation. My three pieces of chicken were more on the dull side. I need to start eating lamb and fish. We sadly left my self-made book about Turkey in this restaurant, and the waiter we approached the second day said they kept everything, but the book was not there. A few days later he spotted us on the sidewalk and he came forward to us with the book, apologizing for not finding it the first time. I give him a 5 star too, even though our holiday was almost at its end. I like Turks with long hair and curls.
My rating: ♥♥♥
The Magic Garden
When I said Kafkas was the biggest disappointment I wasn’t remembering the Magic Garden. Thomas was approached by the staff claiming that I would love him twice more if we ate at the Magic Garden. We weren’t convinced, but decided to listen to him and ordered ‘the Magic Garden Special’. Not very special at all; tasteless mess with chips on the side. No creativity, and definitely no magic. When asked if we didn’t like the meal since we hadn’t eaten much we were honest, but then were met with ‘well, sometimes this happens’… I’m sure this happens more than often when your signature dish disappoints like this. Would not go again.
My rating: ♥
Restaurants in Ovacik
The first restaurant in Turkey we blessed with our hard-to-impress-Norwegian-guts was 3 Cheers (Sept 9th). Praised by TripAdvisor community as one of the best restaurants in the area, and while after the meal I didn’t really agree; but in retrospect after two weeks with mediocre Turkish-gone-Continental meals I think I agree.
The reason for my first more harsh judgement is that I l-o-v-e ‘Beyti kebab’ so of course I ordered this. But I felt like the dish bathed in tomato sauce, and I don’t love anything that is swimming in tomato sauce. I know it is served with tomato sauce, but I wish there was less of it, and maybe more on the side so I’d have a choice.
The side dish (rice + chickpeas salad) and the starter were the winners. Yummy. The staff was also very attentive, making me feel bad for attempting to pour water into my glass by myself. A nice touch of them, but I am a heavy water consumer and would prefer to just jug the flask and throw away the glass.
My rating: ♥♥♥/♥