Tuesday, August 22, 2017

ALAÇATI EATS 2017- Fethi'nin Yeri Ada Balık; Kapari Bahçe & Dokuz Buçuk Restaurant & Bar

Dear readers,

If you haven't had a chance to read my previous post, I was in Alaçatı, Çeşme on the glorious & pristine Aegean coast of Turkey during the 1st 9 days of August. I shared the names and info on the hotels I stayed at and now it's time to give you info on where I went to eat in the evenings!

I'm sorry to say you might be disappointed that the list is short, but quite frankly I'm not! Although I was in Alaçatı for 8 nights, on a few occasions I was invited to the summer homes of my family & friends where we just hung out and had some great food prepared at home by my hosts! Although I only visited 3 restaurants for dinner on this vacation, I'm happy to say that I was very happy with our meals and feel free sharing the info with you (otherwise I wouldn't!). So... here goes!

Although I was extremely wiped out the day I arrived in Alaçatı, while we were hanging out and having wine & cheese on the terrace of The S Alaçatı with my sister, brother-in-law and his childhood friend Okan (my brother-in-law has a lot of childhood friends in Çeşme because he was born in Izmir and spent his childhood in this resort town)... Okan asked if we were hungry at around 7:00pm. Upon saying yes, he said "how about going for 'rakı-balık' at a 'salaş' or 'no frills' fish restaurant right on the water and you can go just the way you are?". This was a offer hard to say no to and that's exactly what we did! We didn't have to change and get all "dolled up" which was definitely an extra plus!

Around 7-8 km from my hotel, Fethi'nin Yeri Ada Balık is literally right on the water in Germiyan Yalısı Ada Mevkii. (to translate the name of the restaurant: Fethi's Place: Island Fish)
Fethi'nin Yeri Ada Balık Restaurant- Çeşme
We arrived about 30 minutes before the sunset and although it was a Tuesday night, Okan called and made a reservation for us just to be on the safe side and thank god he did because it didn't take long for all the tables to fill up!

This family owned and managed fish restaurant has been around for 24 years and this is the first time we are coming here (except Okan - he goes often and I understand why!).  It is definitely "no frills" with plastic tables and chairs and dinnerware dating back 20 years, but the view and delicious food more than makes up for it!
Sunset from Fethi'nin Yeri Ada Balık - Çeşme
Just before the sun set, we had ordered a variety of cold meze (appetizers) from the refrigerated display in the indoor section of the restaurant. To translate "rakı-balık"... rakı is the Turkish version of ouzo but not as sweet and it's the most suitable "partner" for a meze and balık (fish) meal in Turkey. Of course you can have wine or a soft drink, but it's just not the same!

As the Aegean Sea's waves gently hit the sandy beach, we initially "attacked" our appetizers, before slowing down...
Meze @ Fethi'nin Yeri Ada Balık - Çeşme
We started with şakşuka (roasted eggplant, green peppers, tomatoes with yogurt sauce); artichoke in olive oil; olive oil marinated cold sea bass; and super hot & spicy green peppers...

Then we ordered a çoban salatası (shepherd's salad) followed with 2 hot meze: sauteed spinach & chard topped with yogurt sauce and fried calamari.
Shepherd's Salad @ Fethi'nin Yeri Adı Balık - Çeşme

Sauteed spinach & chard with yogurt sauce @ Fethi'nin Yeri Ada Balık - Çeşme

Fried Calamari @ Fethi'nin Yeri Ada Balık - Çeşme
It might not look like we ate a lot of food, but by the time you add the wonderful toasted bread, the rakı to wash it down with and the great conversation... we did

Everything we ate was absolutely delicious, in season and the flavors and seasonings just right. I was particularly impressed with the spinach/chard combo because I love greens and although a very simple dish, this healthy meze definitely appealed to my taste buds!

One of the problems in a majority of the fish restaurants in Turkey is that there is no menu! So, you basically have to ask the waiter the cost of your food beforehand if you don't want any surprises... especially if you are ordering fish because the price changes daily. They also charge küver or a cover per person which includes bottled water and bread and here it was 4 TL/person (quite reasonable compared to most places that charge as much as 10 TL/person). Also, check your bill, but in a majority of cases, the tip called servis in Turkish is not included and a 10% tip of the total bill is the norm. 

It was a fantastic first night in Alaçatı to say the least... After a relaxing several hours in good company, it was time to return to my hotel. It was nice meeting you Okan and thank you for your recommendation!
Brother-in-law Ibrahim, Okan, sis Meltem & me (left to right)

Fethi'nin Yeri Ada Balık
Germiyan Yalısı Ada Mevkii Çeşme, Turkey
GSM: (0532) 668 16 44

By day this restaurant doubles as a "beach" and you can pay a minimal charge for an umbrella and chair to sun. Breakfast is also served. Reservations are recommended.

On the 2nd night of my trip to Alaçatı I was invited to a dear friend's home for wine and cheese which turned into dinner at her home.

On my 3rd night in Alaçatı, which also happens to be my birthday - I had a quiet and lovely dinner with my sister Meltem at Kapari Bahçe in one of the best spots in Hacımemiş. Our initial plans were to get together with some friends to celebrate my birthday but that got changed to the next night and since we had a very busy "beach club" day, my sister and I only went out to have some "quiet time" together...
Kapari Bahçe - Hacımemiş, Alaçatı
Kapari Bahçe opened in 2014 and I had stayed at the Kapari Hotel the same year and wrote about both places which you can read about in my previous blog posts. The hotel's owner is also a partner at the restaurant, hence the name. 

I've always enjoyed the food here and you can't tell from the picture, but it is a large eatery on 3 levels (didn't want to take too many pics with customers to disturb them). We were lucky enough to get a table for two because it was quite packed and we hadn't made a reservation, but it was later in the evening around 10:30pm. 
Kapari Bahçe - Haçımemiş, Alaçatı
In all the times I ate at Kapari Bahçe, I don't ever remember having a main course because their appetizers are so varied and so good, I never had room to eat more!

Once again, that is exactly what my sister and I did. We started our meal with an order of Smoked Salmon w/Avocado Dip & Wild Greens with Yogurt Sauce...
Smoked Salmon w/Avocado Dip & Wild Greens with Yogurt Sauce @ Kapari Bahçe 
The presentation of both dishes was quite intriguing and the tastes were as appealing as their presentations.

We then ordered Falafel...
Falafel @ Kapari Bahçe 
The Falafel was good, but I would have preferred garlicky tahini sauce a la Lebanese style instead of the yogurt sauce served to give the dish a little more kick.  

We realized we were still a little hungry, but didn't want to have anything heavy, so we opted to order the Horiatiki Greek Salad...
Horiatiki Greek Salad @ Kapari Bahçe
I can't begin to tell you how incredibly delicious this salad was! It was crisp, the veggies super fresh (like they just picked the tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers from the garden) and the olive oil salad dressing just right! 

Once again, another successful evening with great food and company! I'm not going to mention prices here because they will probably change next year and I don't want to mislead anyone. The menu is quite extensive with hot & cold appetizers, pasta, main dishes and desserts. The wine list is quite impressive with local and international favorites and quality wines by the glass are also available.  
Sis & me @ Kapari Bahçe 

Kapari Bahçe
Hacımemiş Mahallesi 2012 Sokak No. 10 Alaçatı, Çeşme
Tel: +90 232 716 00 94
Reservations are highly recommended.
The day after my birthday, we got together with the friends we were going to meet the night before and went to a newcomer called Dokuz Buçuk Restaurant & Bar or 9 1/2 off the main street in the Hacımemiş area and away from the major crowds. 
Hacımemiş, Alaçatı
Depending on which side of Hacımemiş you are coming from, you either hang a right or left on the corner of the street by Kurabiye Hotel and walk about 50 meters and it's on the left hand side of the street...
Dokuz Buçuk Restaurant & Bar -  Hacımemiş, Alaçatı
The dimly lit beautifully decorated restaurant is in a lovely alcove with lots of verdant trees and a variety of different decorative objects strategically placed around the restaurant.

I am emphasizing "dimly lit" because I'm not thrilled at the quality of the photographs I took and even with photoshop they are not the best, but I still wanted to give you an idea of the location and food...

Open only since May 2017, the restaurant is "new", but not the name... in it's heyday in the 1980s and 1990s, Dokuz Buçuk apparently was a very popular disco in Izmir and one of the partners from those days opened this eatery this season in Alaçatı.

The menu (as much as I can recall as in my rush, I forgot to take a photograph of it) includes a good selection of appetizers, salads, pastas and main courses - both Aegean cuisine and international.

As we are always "being careful" not to overeat... we didn't go overboard here either. We shared a delicious creamy Burrata ...
Burrata @ Dokuz Buçuk Restaurant & Bar - Hacımemiş, Alaçatı
and a dish called Çıtır Mantı or Fried Turkish style ravioli (stuffed with flavored ground beef)...
Çıtır Mantı @ Dokuz Buçuk Restaurant & Bar - Hacımemiş, Alaçatı
This appetizer was good, but nothing to right home about and didn't leave a lasting impression with us.

I just opted to order an appetizer for my main course called Meyhane Köfte - in other words Turkish style meatballs on a bed of lavash bread with tomatoes, green peppers and red onion slices...
Meyhane Köfte @ Dokuz Buçuk Restaurant & Bar - Alaçatı, Çeşme
First, I was surprised at the size of the portion for an appetizer because normally the meatballs are bite-sized, but these were normal portions of köfte and I must say, there were absolutely yummy and the perfect combo with the red onions, tomatoes and green peppers - very "Turkish style" to say the least!

My friends, sis and brother-in-law opted to order pasta as main courses ... and they were very happy that they did!
Spinach & Cheese Ravioli @ Dokuz Buçuk Restaurant & Bar - Hacımemiş, Alaçatı
Penne Arrabiatta @ Dokuz Buçuk Restaurant & Bar - Hacımemiş, Alaçatı
They said the dishes were cooked to perfection (al dente) and very good, but what I also noticed was that the portions were also quite generous and prices modest compared to other "like" restaurants. A refreshing change because most of the time, the portion is small, but the price high!

Of course, we washed down all these yummy dishes with a local sauvignon blanc by Isabey Vineyards which complimented our meal perfectly!

During dinner, the DJ played music that wasn't intrusive and not too loud so we comfortably had a conversation without screaming. However, after 11:00pm, he pumped up the music, so we moved to the bar to continue our evening. Unfortunately the music had to be turned down by 1:00am and the place emptied out because of the noise ordinance in Alaçatı. Another glorious night on the town in Alaçatı was had!

Dokuz Buçuk Restaurant & Bar with friends & family

Dokuz Buçuk (9 1/2) Restaurant & Bar
12032 Sokak No. 8 Alaçatı
GSM: (0532) 391 29 12
Reservations are a must!

In conclusion, I only had a chance to visit 3 restaurants for dinner during my last trip to Alaçatı, but each was a success and worthy of a write up. I'm happy to see that Kapari Bahçe is continuing to do so well season after season; Fethi'nin Yeri Ada Balık has proven itself for the past 24 years and I'm sure newcomer Dokuz Buçuk Restaurant & Bar will be around for many years to come! Bon Appétit! 

My final blog post which I will prepare in the next few days will be about the Beach Clubs I visited during this trip to Alaçatı - two are my old time favorites and two are new places I visited for the first time this season. 

Stay well,

No comments:

Post a Comment