Ayna, Ayvalik, Turkey

Back to Ayna, my favourite restaurant (well, now it’s got some competition, with Argos!) in the area. We went three times over the course of the ten days that we were there. But the first meal was definitely the best…

We started with a mezze dish again… nettles, a fava bean dip, an aubergine and yogurt dip topped with walnuts, vine leaf and courgette flower dolma, and some beans… that looked like black-eyed peas to me, served in a light tomato sauce. Everything was good, every single little nibble.

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Then came the roasted aubergine… which was essentially just very long, slow-roasted aubergine with some mozzarella melted on top towards the end. So tender.

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Then, the shrimp… these were probably my least favourite, but were a hit at the table. I found them bland and a bit cold by the time they made it to us.

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Then, okra and tomato… this was unexpectedly good… a lot of times, okra can be overcooked and get gummy, but this dish was still slightly crispy… and the tomato gave it a nice, additional taste without it being too rich of a complement.

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And then, the best dish ever. We ordered this again the next two times we were there. Sardines grilled and wrapped in vine leaves. Then topped with sauteed onions. Oh. My. This was honestly so good, we ordered a second serving after finishing the first.

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And finally, some kofte. Ayna’s kofte are small, have a lot of taste (well, the meat does), and are kept very moist. They are delicious. IMG_2484

The ice “bucket,” which is part of a ceramic range made by Ali’s cousin, based in Ayvalik…

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And dessert. A cheesecake (eh) and a pasty-tasting pistachio dessert. I was not impressed with either! But frankly, after the rest of the dinner, I didn’t exactly need dessert… What an amazing meal!

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