Our first meal in Turkey proved to be a good omen of things to come. At first we were a little nervous. We asked our hotel concierge for suggestions on a place to get fish. He produced a pamphlet for a place called Sur Balik and said it was quite tasty. There was even a free shuttle pick up to take us to the restaurant. We agreed, but as we walked away we both said we thought we would end up at some tourist trap.
I’m happy to report we were wrong. It was a mix of locals and tourists, but we had a terrific waiter who was kind enough to explain the menu to us. You see, upon opening the menu you are given a list of fish. Bass, Sea Trout, Grouper, Squid, Red Snapper, ect. What’s missing is how they are prepared. Our waiter explained there are several options. Grilled with chili’s and spices, fried, grilled with lemon, a few other options, and a Salt Dome. Liking the idea of the chilies and spices, I made my selection, only to be told I had selected the wrong fish for that type of method, and was pointed to a fish that would be better. Fair enough. Paul liked the idea of the Salt Dome and made his fish selection. Alas, sir, for the Salt Dome, you want this other fish, but it’s a big fish, and you would need to share. Well, he was nice so we simply let him guide us along. Thus we got a selection of cold mezze (no re-selections needed on those it seems) that were AMAZING, and s Salt Dome fish for two.
Little did we know we were in for Dinner and a Show.
First, this huge platter comes out and is set up next to the table. Then, rather suddenly, the whole thing is set on fire! Last, the waiter (that’s him there) wacks it open with a mallet (see mallet) and then carefully and skillfully fillets it table-side and serves it to us.
Well that was unexpected. The fish was tasty, the mezzes were great, the waiter was a gem. And there was a shuttle back to the hotel. LOL.