There's no doubt that Fethiye is a town (or should that be 'boutique city'?) in transition. From the creation of a harbour where there were once reeds, to the building of a new Fethiye town square, to the pedestrianisation of the Dispanser area. All the change has spawned a number of new restaurants, cafes and bars both along Fethiye harbour and around town.
But, amongst all of this upheaval, Fethiye still has its institutions; those places where locals have been eating for years. And while it's fun to try out all of the new bars and restaurants with their new, modern, brightly coloured furniture, the Fethiye institutions are a comfort in a time of change. One of those institutions is Yengen...
Yengen Mark II at the entrance to PaspaturBut wait! What's going on here? This isn't the little Yengen kebab shop that's been serving the best karışık dürüm (mixed meat and chicken döner wrap) known to man for longer than we care to remember. Isn't Yengen the little place on main road opposite Çarşı 95 Sokak? Well, yes it is, but it seems like the era of change in Fethiye has inspired even the old school veterans to leave their comfort zone and branch out.
We've always had favourite eateries for favourite foods and Yengen has always been a favourite for a mixed döner kebab...but we only go there when we're particularly hungry because they're packed with meat. You're not going to get a super cheap kebab here (9 lira for a mixed kebab) but you know you're going to be full when you leave the table - and you get a bowl of pickled chillies to work through while you're eating.
There's a choice of bread at Yengen. This one is a favourite for us.For years, we've gone to the Yengen on Çarşı Caddesi and ordered a take away en route to Deep Blue - or sat inside, just then we don't need to walk the streets while munching - well you never know what's going to drip down your clothes when you least expect it! A quick kebab, a quick ayran and then off to begin the night out.
Yengen at nightWe've been a few times now and the new Yengen is a bit different. Same people, same kebabs, same prices...but a few extras. Will it work? Well...,
- It's on the edge of Paspatur: People have tried and failed for many a year to make this unit work. It's a bit betwixt and between, partly in the pedestrianised zone of Fethiye's old town and partly on the main road. But, this could work well for a kebab joint.
- Outdoor seating: Unlike the original Yengen, the new Yengen has lots of outdoor seating where you can trough your way through your kebab at leisure.
- Extras to the food menu: You can get homemade, fat chips with your kebab or burger, should you so wish. When he was over to visit, my dad so wished and the chips were good! We're not even sure there is a written menu so it's worth pointing out that Yengen is a type of burger/kebab and they also do a decent Iskender Kebab.
- Alcohol is served: Yes, at the new Yengen, you can get an Efes Pilsen (or anything else from the bar) to go with your kebab. At the time of writing, Efes is 7 lira per bottle. Not cheap, but if needs must...
- They've got a WC: Well, we just felt the need to mention this as a WC is a pretty handy inclusion if you need one...and the original Yengen doesn't have one!
The original Yengen is still opposite Çarşı 95 Sokak on Çarşı Caddesi.
The new Yengen (in the photos above) is on the corner of 40 Sokak (Paspatur) and Atatürk Caddesi (the main road through the centre of Fethiye).