Ortunc Beach Club, Cunda, Turkey

A day at the Beach Club… Ortunc feels like a country club, with its manicured lawns (not what I’d expect in Turkey, more like Palm Beach!) and beach chair set-up, but it also has a hotel attached. We went for the day, wondering whether we might stay for dinner as well.

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For lunch, we each had a salad… I got the tempura salmon salad, which was basically lettuce and tomato, some raw avocado, and small salmon bits, lightly fried. It was all fresh, but that was its redeeming quality, there was absolutely nothing exciting about it.

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But then, the pide that we were sharing came. It had minced meat (hand chopped, not ground… you could taste each individual piece of meat, and it was delicious), with tomatoes, peppers and mozzarella on top). If you look in the background, you can see the rocket and tomatoes that they brought for us to top the pide with… So. Good.

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Then, seven hours later, we did end up staying for dinner. We started with some mezze, which we hand-picked in the kitchen (an aubergine dip, a purslane and yogurt dip with garlic and lemon juice, some green beans in a light tomato and olive oil sauce, some tiny baby squid in a lemon and olive oil sauce, and my beloved fava bean dip… which was quickly becoming one of my favourite dishes of the trip).

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Then, an order of sigiri borek, the cigarette borek stuffed with feta. Served with a weird sweet chili sauce which we all stayed away from, the boreks themselves were delightful, light and airy with the perfect balance of fry and cheese.

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Then, we ordered a seabass… which came with all of these accompaniments! Roasted and sauteed potatoes (with all sorts of herbs smashed into them, yum), baby grilled courgettes, tomatoes that had been cooked on the hob in olive oil and were now blistered (these tasted especially good on top of the seabass!) and spinach… which, as we hadn’t had any since arriving, also seemed special, simply steamed.

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The whole meal was great. All these fresh mezzes and side dishes… we almost didn’t even need the seabass! Which, was good, but a little more cooked than the one we’d had at Argos. Stuffed, we headed home…

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