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Motif Restaurant – Tastes Of Turkey Along Çalış Beach

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Here is our review of Nichola and Doğan’s latest venture, Motif Restaurant, along Çalış Beach.

If you’re someone who knows the Fethiye restaurant scene pretty well, then restaurateurs Nichola and Doğan probably need no introduction.

If you’re not familiar with the restaurant scene in our little corner of Turkey, we often write reviews of local bars and eateries.

And this article is no exception.

Motif Restaurant, Çalış Beach
Motif Restaurant is along Çalış Beach

Motif Restaurant, Çalış Beach

Opened in the spring of 2019 by Nichola and Doğan, Motif Restaurant was on the immediate radar of local diners.

If you’ve run a successful restaurant in the past and then you announce a return with the upcoming opening of Motif Restaurant, you’ve already got a bunch of eager, hungry customers on your hands!

We class ourselves as two of those eager, hungry customers.

As with any new restaurant opening, however, we resisted for a short while.

We gave the team a bit of ‘settling in’ time before we went to sample some of the dishes from the tempting menu.

Rear Garden Area
Motif Restaurant has a relaxed, sheltered area to the rear

Sheltered Garden

Çalış Beach is famous for its welcome, cooling breezes in the summer months.

On the day we were at Motif Restaurant, it was springtime. It was sunny but the ‘welcome cooling breeze’ blowing straight off the sea was nothing but a cold wind.

We had the option to sit inside. But photos on the Motif Restaurant Facebook page had shown us that there was a sheltered, decked garden area to the rear.

No cold winds down here!

Just pleasant sunshine and a choice of contemporary and traditional seating.

The köşk looked tempting but we kept life simple and opted for a dining table.

Let’s Eat!

Time to peruse the menu. And prepare the tastebuds for some flavours of Turkey!

Meze Selections
There’s a large meze choice at Motif Restaurant

Because that’s what people are so happy about with the arrival of Motif Restaurant in this area.

It’s a restaurant specialising in Turkish cuisine.

And a good number of the dishes on offer are ones you won’t see elsewhere in restaurants along the Çalış Beach promenade.

Motif Restaurant’s tagline is ‘Anadolu Lezzetleri – Traditional Tastes of Turkey’.

The menu has a mix of regional dishes, dishes from the Ottoman kitchen. And a good sprinkling of familiar Turkish favourites, too.

We decided to start our meal with some meze choices.

Falafel, Gavurdağı Salatası and an aubergine salad. Gavurdağı Salatası – a salad dish from the Gaziantep area of Turkey – is a favourite of mine and this one didn’t disappoint.

Especially with some of that lovely bread torn apart and dipped into the juices!

The Big Event

And then the time came for our main meals to arrive.

Three diners, three different meals. Well, no point in all ordering the same thing is there?

Especially when there is so much to choose from on the menu.

Hatay Flavours

For me, flavours from the Hatay region in Turkey’s southeast.

Motif Restaurant Şato Piliç
Şato piliç is an old favourite of mine

Şato piliç. A large patty of minced chicken stuffed with cheese and pistachio nuts.

Chargrilled pepper, tomato and onion. A fresh onion and parsley salad tossed in zesty sumac, tomato bulgur pilaf and a dip of yoghurt and aubergine.

Oh, and let’s not forget all those leaves of lavaş bread covered in a light red pepper paste.

Flavours From The Ottoman Kitchen

There was a short discussion regarding this choice of lamb mutancana.

Both Barry and I were keen to try it. As I was already torn between this and my eventual choice, I was happy, on this occasion, to sample some of Barry’s when it arrived.

Purely for purposes of this article, of course.

How can I tell you what food tastes like if I don’t taste it – and photograph it?

Lamb Mutancana At Motif Restaurant
Supremely tender lamb in the lamb mutancana

We’ve been told in the past that the chef at Motif Restaurant is rather particular when it comes to preparing his lamb meat before it’s cooked.

Whatever his methods are, what is served to your table is chunks of the most juicy tender lamb.

And for this particular Ottoman dish, flavours of the Middle East come into play – bite-sized pieces of succulent lamb are served in a stew with dried fruits, honey and almonds.

If meat dishes with fruit are your thing, this lamb mutancana is a must-try when you go to Motif Restaurant.

Flavours From The Sea

Barry’s mum was with us and she opted for some flavours of the sea with a fish casserole.

Seafood At Motif Restaurant, Çalış
Big juicy chunks of ‘akya’

Served with a side salad and potato wedges, the Mediterranean fish casserole is packed with juicy chunks of ‘akya.

Amberjack fish or leer fish is a steak-like fish when cooked so it’s perfect for dishes like this and şiş kebabs (also on the menu).

Motif Restaurant & Eyna Hotel

And Motif Restaurant isn’t just a restaurant.

As with those other creators of quality kebabs and Turkish dishes in the Çalış area, Babzen Kebab, there are also rooms available at Motif Restaurant.

Eyna Hotel Çalış Beach
Eyna Hotel has rooms with views over the sea at Çalış

Of course we wanted to have a mooch around one of the rooms.

This is the first floor room with balcony offering vistas of the Mediterranean and the beach below, through the trees.

Not a bad place to sit with your morning brew!

Back To Motif Restaurant

So, if you need a place to lay your head while staying in Çalış, there’s an option for you.

But let’s get back to the restaurant side of proceedings…

Motif Restaurant, Çalış Beach
Comfy seating areas at Motif Restaurant

Once you’ve had your fill of all that lovely food, there’s a couple of places where you can relax at Motif Restaurant.

As they’re gaining as much of a reputation for their inventive infused gins as they are for their food, you might want to sit back and enjoy a beverage or two whilst you’re there.

We completely forgot about the gin offerings when we were there.

So we now have a perfect excuse to go back to Motif Restaurant soon and sample more of the menu…and the gin!

The Return To Motif Restaurant

Well, of course, we’re not just going to visit Motif Restaurant on the one occasion and then forget all about it, are we?

There was the small matter of the infused gin for a start.

These days, as you would expect, Motif Restaurant is much more settled into its location along Çalış Beach.

We’ve enjoyed the odd gin there and also more samplings from the menu.

Motif Restaurant, Çalış Beach
More tasty treats from the Motif Restaurant kitchen

We did mention that the chef is very particular about his lamb prep.

This is evident in the lamb şiş which is just so juicy and tender. None of those uncomfortable chewy or fatty bits that tend to make themselves present in grilled lamb.

Barry’s a huge fan of the güveçte pirzola (lamb chops in a tomato-based stew, served in a clay pot).

We did a swap – a chunk of lamb şiş for a slice from the lamb chop.

Both of these dishes are a lamb-lover’s heaven!

And a meal treat without a little meze starter just isn’t complete, is it?

If you’re a fan of hummus, make sure to try the hot hummus topped with pastırma. Perfect for dipping your warm bread into!

And an oruk to share. Oruk is içli köfte but a flattened pate version.

A real taste of southeast Turkey.

Time For Refreshments

Motif Restaurant Infused Gin
The infused gins are tasty even for the non-gin-drinkers

Those infused gins. I don’t even drink gin!

However, if we do go to Motif Restaurant, these days, the infused gins are such a lovely refreshing extra.

The one in the photo above is infused with orange and pomegranate – a current favourite.

Of course there are lots of other drinks and cocktails on the Motif Restaurant menu – it’s just that the infused gin is our current little guilty pleasure.

Motif Restaurant & Eyna Hotel – Useful Information

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Emma Chavez

Thursday 30th of May 2019

I wish I could just wish myself there (like "I Dream of Jeannie" show from the 1970s. The ocean looks so inviting! The dishes look scrumptious! Can you get the recipes?

Turkey's For Life

Saturday 1st of June 2019

Hi Emma, ha ha, that would be nice wouldn't it. :) We have a few of the dishs served at Motif Restaurant on our turkish Recipes page and we're thinking of doing some more Ottoman recipes soon so watch this space. :) https://www.turkeysforlife.com/turkish-recipes-index.html

Derrick Hargreaves

Thursday 30th of May 2019

went there a few days ago. really impressed by the unusual menu and by the finished product served.

Turkey's For Life

Thursday 30th of May 2019

Hi Derrick, yeah really nice to see some different choices on the menu at Motif Restaurant. :)

Sarah (instagram Saraianz)

Thursday 30th of May 2019

OMG, thanks so much for this review! I may have found where to have my birthday dinner in September! I’m so excited to be returning to Turkey and Fethiye!

Turkey's For Life

Thursday 30th of May 2019

Hi Sarah, ha ha, you're welcome. Sure Motif Restaurant would be a great choice for a birthday dinner. Happy countdown to your return! :)

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