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KÖY SOFRASI, KİRAZLIKÖY

kirazbfast2In a village that's biggest selling point is its organic food, the Köy Sofrası in Kirazlıköy, near Küsadası, has been in business since 1992 so it's had lots of time to perfect the art of preparing a blowout brunch.

The setting is absolutely wonderful, with a range of places to sit either at conventional tables or on cushions around more traditionally Turkish floor tables beneath a spectacular grapevine. Once inside the grounds the modern, urban world falls away and you're free to focus all your attention on the food rather as you can at Cumalıkızak, near Bursa, which also majors on brunching. 

There is a menu with all sorts of possiblities on it but the vast majority of people just sit down and order a village breakfast (köy kahvaltısı), the only choice to be made then being over how to have your eggs prepared. 

What do you get? Well, thick, doughy hunks of delicious baslama bread which in themselves almost justify the trip. These can be used to mop up organic jam, or the wonderful balkaymak (honey and cream). There's a selection of cheeses including a Lor cheese served with jam which is also popular in the small market town of Tire. Yet more cheese comes crumbled and seasoned on fresh tomoatos which crop up again in a salad. There are black and green olives, and cold chips to round things off.kirazbfast

Traditionally Turks always drank tea for breakfast and here groups get served a samovar. I found it very irritating to be charged TL3 for each of two very small cups of Nescafe instead of the tea that would have been included.

The restaurant sells some organic fruit and vegetable, and jams, and suggests that parents take the opportunity of a visit to explain the principles of sustainable food production to their children. 

I loved all this but did have a few gripes aside from the coffee issue. My fried egg had to be sent back because the yolk had bled into the white, and it seemed rather mean that there was only one choice of jam and one rather small bowl of honey. Worst of all, I found it irritating to be served a small bottle of water that I assumed to be included in the price (especially when I was paying TL6 for two small coffees), only to have it charged separately. The upshot was that what looked like an all-in price of TL17 actually cost me TL24. For that I think I should have got rather more than I did, although I'm not so stupid as to think a solo diner will do as well as a group in this sort of situation.

Thumbs up: Wonderful setting, lovely food, great place to come with a group of friends

Thumbs down: Nescafe shouldn't be an "extra" these days. Could have done with a choice of jams and/or a bigger serving of honey

Tel: 0256-667 1003

 

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