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“Top marks!”
Review of ELAKI

Ranked #59 of 115 Restaurants in Datca
Price range: $0 - $43
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Turkish
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Top marks!”
Reviewed August 18, 2011

Excellent food, attentive service and a spectacular setting in the courtyard of a beautifully restored country mansion, this is a truly memorable dining experience. Whole-heartedly recommend.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Paul M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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12 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
319 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 184 helpful votes
“Something unique. Fine Turkish food in a splendid Ottoman setting.”
Reviewed August 2, 2011

Get away from the predictable experience of quayside restaurants in Datca and enjoy fine Turkish food in an Ottoman ambience. Ten minutes from Datca's harbour, situated in an old village, Elaki is housed in a restored Ottoman mansion. You dine in a beautiful courtyard and garden. The fare is thoughtful and unpredictable, Turkish food at it's finest and most sophisticated, and at affordable prices. One of the most beautiful places to dine in Turkey.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank abager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Monica, California
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Foodie Heaven!!!”
Reviewed July 22, 2011

We did a brief stopover in Datca on a previous tour of the Med/Aegean Coast, but this time we came for an extended holiday – windsurf and sailing camps for the family – and are staying at a restored historic home & retreat that recently opened and is available for stays of a week or more (Alamango House – no website as of this review).

On a previous visit in 2006, we had a memorable meal at Elaki restaurant, housed at the Mehmet Ali Aga Mansion. Since our first visit, there is a new chef – Halis Saracoglu – and his cooking makes me wish we could eat every meal in Datca at the Mansion! Yum!!!

Although Elaki’s menu has a broad range of influences from the Ottoman Empire – Turkish, Syrian, North African, Greek and Balkan – it gives new meaning to the word locavore. Chef Halis takes “local” and “organic” to a new level, with most of Elaki’s ingredients coming from either their own garden or a few farms in the vicinity. While I can identify some of my favorite Turkish and Mediterranean dishes on the menu, he presents each of them in an imaginative and original manner that is both unexpected and memorable.

The starters (mezze) are new and different every day – a generous selection of 5 cold and hot starters is what is offered if you order starters omakase (chef’s choice) versus a la carte. My favorites are as follows: a twist on Syrian/Lebanese muhammara (a touch of cumin made it absolutely original – I am still hoping to get the recipe), savory cheese pastry (muska borek ) which surprised with sprinkle of fresh green pepper and tomato woven into the cheese, swiss chard sautéed with leeks and the all-time crowd favorite: roasted red peppers grilled over an open flame and then sprinkled with a salty, Turkish cheese (tulum) and dotted with pine nuts. The latter being the perfect accompaniment to a cold beer). I had the mezze selection a few times and, on a night I wasn’t in the mood for a full meal, enjoyed the selection as my main meal along with a glass of wine .

Because of the summer heat, we tended towards the lighter dishes. I stuck with fresh-caught fish. One evening, we shared an oven-roasted grouper, which was done in a Mediterranean “broth” with tomatoes, onions, rosemary, parsley and other savory herbs. I am not a big meat eater, but others in the family also enjoyed yogurt kebab with drizzled with dried mint and chili as well as the filet mignon. The filet was done in an unusual marinade of carob molasses and fresh rosemary. Chef Halis mentioned that both carob and rosemary grow wild and abundantly in Datca and he could not resist bringing these two unusual choices together in this dish.

The kids loved the fresh grilled chicken breast with almond pilaf (rice), although the more frequent request was for Elaki’s version on Penne All’Arrabiata (which must fall under the Mediterranean influence of their menu as it is not a Turkish dish). The pasta was al dente with a very fresh tomato sauce and just the right amount of heat. Being a fan of all things hot & spicy, I learned that Chef Halis uses a chili oil he distills himself from local chilis.

We are not big dessert people and I was able to resist everything but the house specialty - “fairy floss” (called the Mansion Special Dessert). It is essentially an imaginative twist on a traditional Middle Eastern sweet of helvah (made from a sweetened sesame paste). Reinterpreted with the consistency of cotton-candy and covered lightly with shredded chocolate and pistachios. Despite my lack of a sweet tooth, it was hard to resist because of its unusal texture and light finish.

My only criticism is small one and has no bearing on the food or the magical location, but goes to the formatting of the restaurant’s menu. Because everything is presented in Turkish and English sequentially, it is a little harder to move through the menu at first glance than it should be. I can’t speak for the Turkish part of the menu but the English certainly doesn’t do enough justice to the outstanding and original dishes given such personal attention by Chef Halis.

At our last meal there, I saw a couple planning their wedding at the Mansion and consulting with Chef Halis on the menu. It made me wish Elaki and the Mansion had been an option when we got married!!! All in all, Elaki will remain one of the very special memories of our trip to Datca – it is truly foodie heaven!!

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank socalifoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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