Bussed in boys have bumped up Bodrum’s population and hustle season is in full swing. The cheap youths in cheap shirts have such impossibly thin waists; you wonder where their vital organs are stored. Tediously, every year these likely lads need retraining not to hassle us as we run the gauntlet of the identikit restaurants along the promenade. It hardly matters which eatery you choose, the fare is the same – a service plate of chips, rice and a compost of shredded limp greenery accompanying kebabs or plain grilled fish. Bodrum is not well-blessed with exquisite Ottoman gastronomy and delicious regional cuisine is hard to find. This may explain why restaurants with an international flavour are so popular, particularly amongst the Turkish yachting fraternity and emigreys alike.
If it’s an ample grill you’re after, avoid the over-priced joints anywhere near the water front. Just one or two streets behind bring better quality at half the price. I would recommend a small family run establishment called Yeni Bodrum Ocakbaşı which is located along Atatürk Caddesi (the street that runs parallel to Bar Street), opposite the Istanköy Hotel. This relaxed and unpretentious lokanta is popular with the locals and serves up a plentiful menu of fresh fare, including pide (Turkish pizza). Their service plate is a superior brand featuring spiced bulgar wheat (instead of plain rice) and a crisp salad of many colours. And, they don’t try to drag the punters in by the scruff of the neck.
Next post: The Istankoy Hötel