Friday, September 25, 2009

Nireas Restaurant (Rhodes, Greece)

We decided to take a quick walk and have a quick look at the most well know tourist sight of Rhodes.

Rhodes is famous for The citadel of Rhodes, built by the Hospitalliers, and it is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe and the second largest one in the world which in 1988 was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If you would like to learn more about this amazing and beautiful walled city; please go to:

Our friends wanted to take us to a restaurant that they really like in the medieval town. We had to walk through the old town, go through small alleys and finally when we reached our destination. We were greeted with a lovely surprise. An al-fresco restaurant with vines crawling up posts and its foliage created a lovely cover for diners eating under the stars.

Of course we needed a drink right away and we started with a local wine; Rodos Villars. A white wine that was refreshing and full of fruit. Not bad at all.

We let our friends do the ordering. The first dish was mixed tomato salad with pine nuts, peppers in olive oil. The tomatoes in the area of the world taste amazing. No wonder they eat so much of it.

The second dish was Greek yoghurt. Honestly, I could not tell the difference between a Turkish or Greek yoghurt. However; it is always refreshing to have this dish to accompany other dishes. Rich and creamy with a slight sour taste.

The third dish was a local vegetable. It looked like a cross between a grape vine and spinach. Slightly crunchy texture from the stems and it almost tasted like water cress.

The fourth dish was marinated mushroom topped with pine nuts. I do like mushrooms and these did not disappoint. Very fresh with a very firm texture. Simply grilled and lightly doused with olive oil; tasted very nice.

The fifth dish was spinach. Lightly sauteed in olive oil and garlic. What I like is that they did not over cook the spinach, so that it retained its great texture and colour.

The sixth dish was called 'Viagra' on the menu. So, we had to have it. It turned out to be a mixture of different shelled clams preserved in seawater and served with olive oil and lemon. Apparently, it was suppose to work better than the pill! However; I was not impressed and it was not my favourite dish. It was too salty and that is all you tasted; seawater.

The seventh dish was sea urchin in its own juices. This is a polarising dish. People either love it or hate it. I do like sea urchin; but, prefer it when it is used in other dishes like sushi or pasta. It was rich and had a creamy texture.

The eighth dish was marinated octopus and grilled to perfection. All you needed was to squeeze lemon on it and it was just right. Fantastic texture (not chewy), the sea and grill flavours were a perfect match. You seldom can get grilled octopus to taste like this.

The ninth dish was a melange of clams, feta cheese and tomatoes. A good combination of flavours and textures. Salt, sour, acidic and sweet. Chewy, slimy and mushy. Believe me; it was good.

The tenth dish was grilled prawns. They really knew how to cook their seafood. The prawns arrived with a bright and beautiful color and when we cut into the prawn it still had a translucent colour in the center; meaning just grilled perfectly. The tasted heavenly.

The eleventh dish was clams cooked in white wine and herbs. Another simple seafood dish but when done right, is a great dish. These clams were so fresh and the bouillon they were cooked in added a lovely flavour.

The twelveth and final dish was deep fried white bait fish. I always like these little creatures. They were fried to a golden brown and had a slight crunch to each bite.

An amazing restaurant. Beautiful atmosphere, really nice and friendly service, very affordable and the food was amazing. Highly recommended if you are ever in this part of the world.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lunch onbaord the boat (Fethiye, Turkey - Rhodes, Greece)

We woke up early as usual to sail to our next port. Well actually, it was going to be our last port.

We decided to cook our lunch on board the boat. Our friend decided to make risotto with parmesan cheese. I have to admit that I have never cooked risotto before so I was very eager to find out how to do so from our friend. It turned out to be easy. Our friend cooked the risotto just perfectly. The rice cooked al dente; the cheese added the a creamy texture and a great taste.

To accompany the risotto was a tomato, corn and basil salad. The simple sauce for the salad was lemon, olive oil and salt. A simple dish but loads of flavours.

We are arriving to our next and last port; Rhodes, Greece. Rhodes is a very famous tourist destination. However; in my opinion, it is not a very nice looking place. Huge and monstrous buildings that they call hotels and apartments line the coast line. Very bad architecture and eye sores.

We are slowly entering the port of Rhodes where we are going to spend the night.

Since Rhodes is a famous tourist destination. It is not surprising to see enormous cruise ships. We were amazed at the size of those things. They looked like sailing apartment buildings. There was one that had 10 floors. During high-season, Rhodes is infested with the cruise ships with thousands of tourists walking all over the town.

Dinner onboard the boat (Fethiye, Turkey)

Woke up early as usual; had some bread and a Nespresso for breakfast. It was another sunny and bright day in Fethiye.

A shot of all our neighbors.

A view of the village.

We decided to play tourist and went into town.

I always have to stop and look at all the wonderful Turkish Delights.

We decided to stop at this cafe to have a drink.

The owner of cafe's labrador. I have never seen such an enormous and fat labrador. He was castrated and that was the reason for him being so big. But, he was the most playful doggie. He was very cute.

My second Turkish shave. I was not as scared as the first time. However; at this place, they used fire to burn excess hair around the ears and face. That is when I got scared. But in the end, I survived again and my face felt as soft as a baby's bottom. I have to say though, that the first place we went to had a better shave and shampoo massage.

Then my friend convinced us to go for a Turkish hammam (Turkish bath). Of course, we wanted to try it. We asked the shaving place if there was a hammam near by and they recommend this one. Let's just say that this was an experience that I will never forget. Would I do it again? I will have to think about it and tell you later.

To make a very long story short; we were treated like pieces of meat, yelled at to lie down, screamed at to roll over and then thrown around a marble chopping board while being soaped by a guy who looked like a sumo wrestler. Then we were scrubed with sand paper, slapped on the bum and finally douced with ice cold water. Then my friend had a 500 kilo hairy gorilla with a mustach give him 30 minute Rose oil massage. The gorilla kept burping or making funny sounds with his throat. Then he put his sweaty & bulging hairy stomach on my friends head while massaging his back. Luckily I did not have the 500 kilo hairy gorilla with the mustache give me the massage.

I would have to agree with my friend when he said; "That was the most UN-sensual experience I ever had."

On top of that; the family who owned the hammam started deep frying their dinner in front of the door while we were getting our massage. The massage beds were in the open and in the waiting room. That's right, while we were getting our massage; the family started cooking their dinner. This was a very unique experience indeed.

The beautiful sun setting.

Our friends wanted to have dinner on board the boat because they had a big surprise for us. A kilo of black truffles. I could not believe how much truffles they had. The pungent odor of the truffles were mesmerizing.

Our dinner was very simple; but it was an amazing dinner. Pasta with black truffle and showered with fresh grated parmesen cheese. It truly was a fantastic feast. We had to force ourselves to eat all the truffles because there was so much. We could not let it go to waste.

The first red wine we had with our dinner was a Turkish wine; Clos Pittara. We bought it in the supermarket that caters to all the boats. The wine was good, but not outstanding.

The second wine we drank was Grange Des Peres 2005. All I can say about this wine was: WOW. This wine was a masterpiece. There was soft & ripe fruit in this wine, no rough edges, the tannins were delicate, the wood is never dominant, and the wine was not aggressive—it was impeccably balanced and so drinkable

We all decided to sleep early because we had an eventful day and we had to wake up early because we were leaving Turkey and sailing to our final destination, Greece.

Bahce Balik Restaurant (Fethiye, Turkey)

Our next stop was Fethiye. A lovely city with a touristic part that actually had some charm. This is the city that I had my very first Turkish shave. It was very scary. I never had a traditional razor blade shave before. The guy we had was very good and careful. Thank goodness; there was no photo taken. However; I did survive and it turned out to be very nice. I also had a hair cut and he gave me one of the best shampoo massages I have ever had.

In the evening; we came back to the old touristic part of the city. The roads are made of cobble stones and gives it the old charm. The architecture of the buildings were also very nice. We were on our way to the restaurant for dinner.

Our friends really like Bahce Balik restaurant and we were glad that they wanted to take us to it.

It was al fresco dinning; which was fantastic because the weather was perfect. The dinning area was lovely with hanging vines, plants and trees. The decor was simple but with good taste.

We started with a simple salad. Very simple, with olive oil and lemon.

The next dish was long green beans. Cooked until tender and again prepared simply with olive oil and lemon. The green beens were tender but still had a slight crunch to the bite.

The next dish was fresh thick yoghurt. Very creamy and if you placed your spoon in the middle of the dish, the spoon would have stood up.

The next dish was fresh beets. I really like beets; so to have fresh beets was a treat. They were very sweet. Adding a bit of the thick sour yoghurt was a great combination.

The next dish was stuffed cabbage. Normally, I do not like stuffed cabbage. I hate soggy vegetables. But, this dish was tasted very nice. The cabbage did not fall apart when you picked it up. The filling of fish and herbs was a very nice touch. The fish was not overcooked and the herbs added the needed flavour and aroma.

The next dish was plump fresh shrimp. Oh of my favourite sea creatures. Not very good for my very very high cholesterol, but I can never resist several of them. Again very simply prepared with olive oil and lemon.

The next dish was deep fried Turkish spring rolls (sorry, have no idea what they are really called), stuffed with seafood. If you read my blog; you will know by now that I cannot resist fried foods. This did not disappoint. Crunchy outside with the stuffing hot and tasty. No sauce needed because the filling was already very tasty.

The next dish was deep freid cheese rolls. Another very nice dish. Deep fried to a golden brown. Slightly crunchy; after a bite and the tasty Turkish cheese slightly oozes out.

The next dish is the signature dish of the restaurant. Our friends just return to this restaurant to eat this dish. Its octopus; smoked and grilled to perfection. It indeed was very good. I never had octopus prepared like this. Very unique and uniquely delicious.

The last dish was grilled fish. The fish was amazing; grilled perfectly. The fish was tender, moist and not overcooked. By now; we decided that we had enough food.

The wine that we drank with the dinner was a Turkish white wine: Sevilen, Sauvignon Blanc 2008. We were very delighted to know that Turkey has a thriving wine industry and what they produce is not bad at all.

Walking back to the boat. Another wonderful day in Turkey and another stunning dinner. Bahce Balik Restaurant was really good. No wonder my friends keep returning.