Our epicurean explorer reviews a personal favourite for this edition of Dinner Times, down by the Marina in Fethiye.

There can be few nicer experiences than sitting in the cooling shade under crystal blue skies with a stunning vista of yacht masts lined up like sailors in a row. Then add, good food and drink, complimented by pleasant, attentive service by waiters dressed like a jolly jack tar. All this set to a background of music which ranges from cool jazz to calypso played at a level which invites conversation and the dining experience is complete.

Relaxed and Cosmoplitan

The MOD Yacht Lounge is one of Fethiye’s hidden gems, tucked away on the Ece Saray Marina, many of us will pass within yards of it without even knowing it is there. The atmosphere is relaxed and the clientele cosmopolitan yet casual. It is a perfect place to meet friends for a coffee and a chat or a lazy lunch and the candle lit evening dining is elegant yet informal.

This location is a regular of mine during the daytime but I accidentally found myself there on a Monday night recently and experienced the MOD BBQ night, which, I have to say was excellent value for money. Served from 7.00 pm (booking advisable) the preparation area is moved outside and presided over by professional chefs who prepare your choice of grilled entrée. There are numerous options but the steak costs 21tl, fish is 17tl and if you want a substantial mixed BBQ offering including lamb and chicken it will set you back 29tl. When you consider that this sum includes a range of mezes, bread and mixed vegetables with your main course, the value becomes apparent because the general prices at MOD cannot be described as cheap.

During the day there is a wide range of quite fabulous food which is aimed at the upmarket international visitor to the marina and therefore not intrinsically Turkish – more Mediterranean. A full English Breakfast will set you back 18tl, a Turkish Breakfast 15tl and a more comprehensive Anatolian Breakfast comes in again at 18tl, but well worth it on special occasions.

Lunchtime offerings include Salads, Pastas, Seafood and Kebabs – all quite substantial and perfect to take your time over with a cold glass of beer or wine. The Bosphorous Salad, although costing 24tl is a cornucopia of sea harvest which will not disappoint fish lovers.

However, I once ordered the Tropicano Salad (13tl) which comprised of lovely range of salad staples (including fruit which really appealed), it was to be dressed with a creamy orange sauce which whetted my appetite no end – until it arrived – completely smothered in whipped caterers cream and was totally inedible! Either the chef couldn’t be bothered to make the creamy orange sauce or I had upset him. Either could be a possibility (although to my knowledge we had never met…) The salad was graciously taken back and replaced although it put me out of kilter with my dining companions.

“Lightest, crispiest batter”

The evening and daytime menus are the same although there is a daily special of soup and a vegetarian option served quickly and efficiently for just 12tl. If I have to criticise, the waiters can be too efficient and tend to take away plates before everyone has finished (not good service etiquette) leaving the slow eaters in your party a little bit isolated!

Three dishes which caught my eye were the fish and chips (18tl) served on a large square plate and as pleasing to the eye as the palate – it had the lightest crispiest batter that I have yet to experience in this neck of the woods. Also the stuffed calamari – filled with a tasty mix of rice, currant, pine nuts, spices and seafood, served with a shrimp and saffron sauce – I was so excited that I forgot to check the price!

Finally, the Hunkar Begendi, a traditional (although modified) Turkish dish of crunchy lamb on a bed of mashed aubergine with béchamel sauce and grilled veggies at 25tl.

Soft drinks start from 4tl, cocktails are 15tl and there is a good range of wines, spirits and coffees, all at prices that reflect the upmarket clientele who frequent this location. However, it must be said that with careful selection from the menu a nice light lunch including a drink will leave you change from 25tl.

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Date of visit: Monday August 24 – evening

Setting: Shady trees overlooking the yacht marina

Type of Food: Simple Mediterranean/international dishes served with flair

Other diners: Cosmopolitan mix of holiday visitors to the area including Turks (and minor celebrities)!

Ambiance: laid back, casual, elegant

Service: Not bad – always polite.

Total bill for 2 (BBQ Special) including 2 soft drinks & 2 coffees 54tl

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Tel: MOD Yacht Lounge – Fethiye (0252) 6143970

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