It was VERY rare that we ever ate out in restaurants when I lived in Turkey, apart from our regular 3tl doner on market day! We hardly ever went out, sat down and had an evening meal together, in fact I can think of only three or four occasions, one of which was paid for by Berkay’s boss, and another was on half price night on the last night of the season!
On Berkay’s birthday we decided to break away from the norm and go out somewhere we’d never been to, but heard a lot about – Mancero Kitchen. Normally we wouldn’t have gone somewhere so expensive but as it was my last night in Turkey for a long time, and Berkay’s birthday, we thought we’d splash the cash a bit!
The location is brilliant – it’s in Fethiye along the promenade which is lovely to walk along no matter what time of day. In the day its nice to see the blue sea against the backdrop of the mountains and stroll along taking little breaks to sit on the benches and admire the view. In the evening with everything all lit up it looks even more beautiful, the palm trees had different coloured lights, you could look over to Fethiye and see it all lit up, and it all looked especially magical just after sunrise, with the multicoloured sky as the backdrop.
We had already booked, so we just walked in and got seated straight away, it was a chilly December night so it wasn’t particularly busy but I can imagine that it gets very busy in summer so I definitely recommend booking in advance.
The inside is what I describe as a ‘proper restaurant’, if you’ve been to other restaurants in Calis or Fethiye most of them don’t feel fancy at all, they have plastic tables and chairs covered with tablecloths and most seating is outside, certainly the inside areas don’t really feel decorated at all, but Mancero is. Huge glass windows allowing you to look out to sea, lovely rustic wooden tables and chairs, little booth areas, wine displays, even a little seating area with budgies in cages chirping to say hello! It definitely feels like a classy restaurant, but boy do you pay for the pleasure.
Before we’d booked I had asked a friend if it was expensive, “not really, around 130tl for 2 with a starter and wine”… 130tl, not expensive for a two course meal?! We’d only ever spent 50tl on a meal out for two in Calis, a diet coke and a chicken dish each and that’s our lot! Looking through the menu was painful, I swear I could see Berkay flinching at the prices as he went down the list. All the steaks on the menu were 40-60tl each, almost as much as we’d normally spend on an entire meal for two, but as I said, it was a special occasion, and our last meal together for a long time, so we settled on a couple of steaks and waited to see if it was worth it.
While we were waiting they brought out a bread basket and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip, which was really delicious, we even asked for extra!
After a short while (it was very quick service) our dinner arrived, and as seems to be the norm in a lot of restaurants nowadays, it wasn’t served on a plate but a wooden board. I can’t even remember which steak I had but know it was 50tl, Berkay had the fillet steak which was 55tl (280-300 grams according to the menu). Both were served with a small amount of potatoes and some fried vegetables (pepper, onion and courgette). The steaks were a decent size and definitely soft, not fatty, well-cooked and delicious. However, I’m not entirely sure the meal was worth the money, overall. You can see from the photos that it wasn’t a great amount of food for the money, and while it was lovely, I can think of many, many other restaurants where we could have got more for our money and still had a very tasty meal. Still, we enjoyed it and Berkay had a lovely birthday dinner.
After eating, we went and sat outside with some Turkish tea, it was freezing but thankfully they had a fire lit in a metal bin for people to sit around and keep warm, I love that part of winter, makes a difference to summer where all the restaurants have to have fans blasting out!
Overall, I was fairly impressed, Mancero Kitchen is a nice place to eat if you’re on holiday or have the money to spare, but for local people, or people on a budget I wouldn’t recommend it. It seems very popular with expats, or tourists, and I can only presume that is because they compare the prices to the UK, rather than to similar restaurants in the area. The food is nice, but just not special enough for the price it is, in my opinion. That being said, I’d like to go back there again on another occasion and try something different, it’s a nice place to spend a special occasion, a once a year kind of thing!
Have you been to Mancero? Let me know what you thought, or if you’re planning to go and try it for yourselves.