Our next stop on my Turkish road trip was Kuşadası, a seaside resort town in the Aydın province. It was a picturesque drive in as we were greeted by sea views. We parked at a nearby otopark and walked into the Ismail Cem Peace & Friendship square which extends into the waterfront dotted with public benches and bobbing boats.
The leisure walk along the waterfront towards the stretch of seafood restaurants at the end was pleasant as I had a good view of the daily catch of some men who were fishing by the waterfront. We walked around the restaurants a bit, checking their menu and finally decided on Le Sener, a restaurant that was adjoining the local fish market that allowed us to buy fresh sea produce from the fishmongers and then, cook it for us for a small fee.
Started with off some mezethes, consisting of yoghurt, cacık (yoghurt with cucumber and garlic) and egpplants with tomatoes. It was excellent to eat with the soft bread provided.
Then a fresh, piquant salad followed with abundant herbs. I am starting to really enjoy salads after this Mediterranean vacation!
As the hamsi (anchovy) season was reaching its end, we had to get our fill of them. We decided to have hamsi tava where the fishies are coated with cornflour and pan fried. The anchovies are arranged around the skillet in a ring and cooked until brown and lightly crisp and served as such. Just pick them up by the tails and eat them whole, in between bites of bread and salad.
My friend said that most of the calamari served in Istanbul are of the frozen variant so when we spotted fresh ones here at the fish market, she had to get them. Had the restaurant deep fry it for us and the calamari rings, lightly coated in batter were divine.
Next to the restaurant was a Midye Dolmasi (Turkish Stuffed Mussels) vendor and couldn’t resist getting a few to try. Stuffed with herbed rice, and complimented with a squeeze of lemon, these were really good! I would have seconds if I weren’t so full already. Slightly sweet, meaty and flavourful, I can see these being very addictive snacks.
After the satisfying lunch, walked around some nearby shops for a bit before we got in the car to head towards the Denizli province where the famed Pamukkale is.
Kuşadası Balık Hali Yanı