An oasis of calm nestling under shady trees and awnings, Mozaik Bahçe is a firm favourite in Fethiye with both residents and holidaymakers. The restaurant specialises in cuisine from the region of Hatay in Southeast Turkey.
Hatay is renowned for its cuisine and its location on the silk and spice trading routes introduced influences from around the world. Dishes include spicy meze-like foods such as hummus and baba ghanoush, a dish made from eggplants, garlic and parsley. The city is also known for its kebabs – tepsi (tray) kebab and sini oruğu, a dish made with thin bulgur and minced meat. The province is also justifiably famous for its desserts, such as künefe, an oven-baked pastry with a soft cheese filling that is smothered in thick syrup.
Keeping the Hatay tradition going
In Hatay culinary traditions are passed down to the next generation. Children are taught to cook from an early age to make sure some of the more local dishes are not doomed to be forgotten.
Hüseyin Karasu, the owner of Mozaik Bachçe, is from Antakya, Hatay and was seven years old when his mother, Ratibe, taught him how to make dolma (stuffed vine leaves). It was Ratibe who influenced Hüseyin in his love of food and his desire to have his own restaurant one day.
Getting the right ingredients
Hatay has a lush mediterranean climate that is hot in the summers and cooler and wetter in the winter making it ideal for growing and producing the ingredients used in traditional Hatay cuisine. Olive oil, pomegranate molasses, incredibly fragrant herbs and spices and fiery red peppers are just some of the many pantry staples.
All the dishes at Mozaik Bahçe are made from authentic ingredients from Hatay.
And now Hüseyin has made some of these ingredients from Hatay available for his customers to purchase from the restaurant.
Cold Pressed Olive Oil and Pomegranate Syrup ( Nar Ekşisi) a popular salad dressing
Black and Green Olives
Preserved vine leaves for making Dolma (stuffed vine leaves)
Spicy sun-dried cheese (Sukre) in olive oil
Can be served with breakfast or as a meze. It is also one of the ingredients in Spicy Pepper Bread.
Incredibly fragrant herbs and spices
Zahter (a variety of thyme that looks and smells a bit like rosemary), fiery red pepper with an oaky smell reminiscent of autumn fires and mixed spice with a blend of 18 different flavours – to name just a few
Home made Kombe (sesame biscuits), Kake (sugar free savoury crackers) and Thyme Bread (Cips) made with thyme and red pepper and delicious as a snack with drinks.
Ratibe is now 83 years old and is still cooking and baking. She puts her longevity and health down to eating natural, organic products, some of which are on sale in the restaurant.
Just ask Hüseyin and he will be happy to tell you more about the range of home made products available.
Congratulations to Hüseyin and his team on receiving the 2016 TripAdvisor award for Excellent Service