So, we got from Fethiye to Dalyan by bus. We’ve told you what we thought about Hotel Konak Melsa; the place where we stayed. But our whole reason for being in Dalyan was just so we could experience Dalyan at night. We were curious. And we wanted it to be good.
We wanted a meal by the river, overlooking the Lycian tombs – and we wanted that meal to be memorable for all the right reasons.
So there we were. Two (Turkish) food enthusiasts, wondering where to go. What if we ordered our food and then it wasn’t quite what we were expecting. A good meal but nothing really special. Well there’s only one thing to do in situations like this.
Aktaş Restaurant, Dalyan
We need to find ourselves a restaurant serving good Turkish meze dishes – and a restaurant with a view. Aktaş Restaurant was the one we plumped for.
The meze table guarantees variety, flavour and conversation. We’d just hit the meze fridges and point. No big main meal, just lots of different dishes to take our time over.
Aktaş Restaurant was the restaurant we plumped for, for no other reason than we asked the waiter at the entrance if they had geren. They did! Sold.
In we walked and chose a table by the water’s edge, overlooking the tombs. Then it was to the meze fridges to begin the pointing process.
As soon as you choose a dish like geren (samphire marinated in oil, lemon and garlic), you’re heading in the seafood flavour direction. (Elsewhere, geren is also called deniz börülcesi – sea beans).
So then we ordered pickled rock seaweed (kaya koruğu), marinated hamsi (anchovies) and – the best of the best – tasty, tender, marinated octopus (ahtapot). Yes, we do love us some octopus.
And, as with Antep Ezmesi, these days, we also feel a tad distressed if we can’t see tangy pickled beetroot (pancar) in the fridges.
Where this beetroot obsession has come from, on my part, I have no idea – because, when I was younger, I couldn’t even bear to look at it.
Anyway, beetroot was duly ordered and then, just for good measure, a portion of liver and onions. Does liver go with seafood flavours? No, not really…but that’s the beauty of meze. You can order what you want and we fancied some liver, too.
As the sky darkened, the food arrived at the table. Now, you can’t really tell in the photo – the liver plate gives you an idea – but we started to think we’d ordered a tad too much food.
The meze plates and portions were of generous sizes. We’d already been given warm bread with olives and cheese (that we had tried not to eat too much of) and now here was more warm bread and all this food.
But we lingered over it, took our time, chatted, took in the famous Dalyan scenery – including the famous rock tombs of Kaunos – and made our meal memorable for all the right reasons.
And so, we can’t even tell you what’s on the menu at Aktaş Restaurant because we didn’t see one. But we can tell you that their meze is just great! The setting is nothing to be sniffed at, either.
Dalyan is a place where you go to chill out – and so long had we lingered over our meal of meze, well, the night was yet young (relatively-speaking) but we were relaxed-tired.
We ambled back towards the centre, had a quick nightcap at our favourite Dalyan bar, M&M Rock Bar, and then strolled on back to our hotel. We slept soundly, that night.