Update 2014: Shaka Restaurant is now Fethiye’s Mancero Kitchen, specialising in steaks and Mediterranean cuisine.
It’s fair to say that, at the moment, Fethiye’s harbour is going through what can only be described as a period of transition. At one end, we have the construction of the new Fethiye town square and Phase 3, the section going towards Çalış Beach, has ground to a halt while more efficient drainage and underground electrical supply is implemented.
That just leaves the middle section. A few weeks back, we wrote about the new restaurants appearing on the scene for summer 2012. Most of them are now open for business and so, along this middle section, relative peace reigns. One of these new restaurants is Shaka.
Shaka caught our eye as the finishing touches were being put to it a few weeks back. It just looks good! Traditional has made way for modern and colours are bright; turquoise being the running theme. We like to christen new places for our eating and drinking in Fethiye page so we just had to stop by for a drink, last week.
The waiter came over immediately and, straight away, we noticed the badge on his t-shirt and the penny dropped. So that’s why everyone already looked like they knew what they were doing. The waiter’s t-shirt said ‘Buzz Beach Bar‘ on it. Buzz Beach Bar is one of the most popular restaurants in Ölüdeniz and has been for a good number of years.
We had a quick chat with the waiter who told us an interior designer had been brought in to do the decor – and so we just had to go inside for a little wander. We love all the traditional eateries in Fethiye, but Shaka is new and fresh and a great alternative choice for Fethiye. We like it!
So what about the menu? We had a quick glance at that too, and, just like the interior, that’s also different. Different in that it isn’t pages and pages of every meal you can possibly think of. It’s simple, not super-cheap but certainly not over-priced, either. A lunchtime snack was brought out for another customer while we were there and we did notice one thing – real chips! Long may that continue…
Meals At Shaka Restaurant, Fethiye
Once Shaka was completely up and running we ate there a couple of times. Here’s what we had…
Two main meals, that’s all, but they were two main meals worth eating!
We didn’t order a starter but this board was brought out as an appetiser: warm, crusty wholemeal bread, topped with poppy seeds and sesame seeds and a side bowl of olives. The olives were in a chilli, kekik (thyme and oregano) and rosemary infused olive oil which also had a dash of (we think) nar ekşisi added.
It all made for a perfect dip for the bread and we could have eaten much more of it…but then we wouldn’t have been able to eat our main meal.
The menu at Shaka is packed with tempting choices, but I eventually plumped for the seafood-stuffed calamari. Always a nervous choice, because if calamari is overcooked, it becomes tasteless, bounces around your mouth and is akin to chewing a rubber bouncy ball rather than a fruit of the sea.
Well, as we’re writing about it here, you’ve probably worked out that that was not the case. It was perfectly cooked. The filling oozed out over the fried potato slices and onto the plate, providing a perfect excuse to tear off a bit more of the bread to eat with the side salad and sauce. Oh, and you’ll be pleased to know the salad was dressed – this doesn’t happen everywhere in Fethiye, for some unknown reason…
As it is a rare occasion that we push the boat out and eat in a restaurant, Barry usually goes for a steak. He was just about to order the fillet steak and then noticed there was entrecôte on the menu. Very common in the UK but not so common in Turkey. Medium-rare entrecôte was ordered…
My, how things have changed in Fethiye. A slab of steak is not traditional Turkish cuisine and, only a few years ago, if you did find a restaurant serving steak, even if it was ordered rare, the tenderiser had smashed it to a couple of millimetres thick and it was grilled till the texture and colour resembled cardboard.
No, that wasn’t the case here. The entrecôte, topped with grilled cherry tomatoes and pearl onions, was eaten with approval. The steak was served on a wooden board with vegetables and a side bowl of fries and onion rings – and while perfection would have been real chips, that’s purely a personal preference for us.
Sushi Night At Shaka
Over the winter season a few of the different restaurants of Fethiye have been doing special nights – something away from the norm that might entice the customers to venture out of the house on a night they’d usually prefer to stay at home.
Cafe Pazar did a tapas night and a Hungarian night. Sundial did a cheese and wine afternoon, a perfect idea for cheese lovers craving the speciality cheeses of various European countries (imported cheeses are expensive in Turkey).
Going out to organised events is usually not our thing, but we thought we’d show willing this winter and try something a bit different. The only event we hadn’t been to was one of the Shaka offerings. When we saw the poster advertising their third sushi night, we decided it must have been popular in the past, we knew we were about to start getting busy for summer with friends and family coming out to visit, and so we decided to go along as part of our ‘farewell to chilled out winter season and hello to hectic, happy summer season.’
We’re far from sushi experts, having only had the odd bits here and there when we’ve lived in Manchester in the UK, but we were looking forward to it – this is definitely something different for Fethiye’s culinary offerings.
We were greeted with a welcome cocktail (which we neglected to ask about – it was good) and then soup and bread was brought to our table. According to the poster, this is spicy tom yum soup. Spicy was a good description – and you know us, we love spicy! A perfect start.
While we waited for the sushi board to be brought out, the sun started to set. The restaurants lining Fethiye harbour are blessed with fabulous scenery and sunsets, and Shaka’s huge sliding glass windows make the most of those views. Would the sushi board manage to take our eyes away from the scene before us?
Well, food has that effect on us – so yes, we were intrigued. What you see in the photo is a serving of sushi for one person! We were going to take our time over this one.
Now, with all of this came three sauces. A soy sauce dip, sweet chilli sauce…and wasabi paste. There was only a tiny amount of this wasabi and we soon worked out why. Wow! Put a miniscule amount onto your knife, spread onto the rice, pop it into your mouth and bam!
We are big advocates of Turkish food and Turkish restaurants but we also think it’s really good for the Fethiye restaurant scene that some restaurants are experimenting with quality international dishes, too. Due to an early Easter, the summer season has sneaked in quietly, but the main domestic and foreign tourist crowds are yet to descend on the area. We’re looking forward to seeing how all these places fare as the season kicks in, properly…