2 Dinners with the Beautiful Murat

Let me first share with you how we met this nice, young gentleman named Murat.

At that sunny morning, our Day 2 in Ladies Beach, he was the Lifeguard-in-charge of the area where we swam (and get burned). He was friendly and very sociable. Not just to us and not only because it’s his job–he was just naturally pleasant. To put it simply, we instantly clicked.

So when our group asked our new found friend, Murat, on where to go for an authentic Kebab, he recommended that we must try Oz Urfa’s Kebab and he even accompanied us for dinner. (It’s no secret that he is Turkey’s most beautiful.) Murat is the gentlest and the most polite local we’ve met.

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Photo Credit: Beatrice Guidote Model: Murat Demir

2 bus stops away from Ladies Beach (Kedinlar Denizi) and 2 minutes away from the Kaleici Mosque in Cephane Sokak, Kusadasi, there you will find the famous Oz Urfa.

What caught our eyes first was the stuffed eggplant dish. We decided to order 2 servings, for sharing, and, just to have a try. It was absolutely H-E-A-V-E-N! (Oh-so-very-yumskies-even-for-non-believers)

A Legend of a Kebap House

Later on, when we got the chance to speak to one of the proprietors, he told us the meaning as to why they call it, “Imam Bayaldi”. It literally means: The imam or the priest has fainted. That explained the “heavenly” taste of the dish. Its stuffing include: some meat, tomatoes, onions, garlics and other delicious secrets from Urfa City.

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Oz Urfa’s IMAM BAYALDI (Extreme left)
Photo Credit: Kristine Gumabay

Family. Business. Success.

The Oz Urfa restaurant is owned and managed by the Zorlu siblings. They are: Ahmet, Mehmet and Mahmut. Its dishes are inspired by the Oz (essence or soul) of Urfa City (Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey).

Ahmet Zorlu, our eloquent interviewee, was very accommodating and even before he took our orders, we were brought inside the restaurant for an au natural look at the pre-cooked showcase of their meats, spices and ingredients. After seeing the food’s raw state and how it will be prepared, one can be sure of what he’s eating. It was quite an experience actually and how very professional of them in everything–from food preparation to table presentation.

4 ½ Spoons

They have small proportions (smaller than what I’ve expected). Well, the pita bread was very filling though, as an appetiser. (Just brush some butter, feta cheese, sour cream and then match it with black olives. Like what real-life epicures do.)

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Garlic Minced Kebab
Photo Credit: @kristinegumabay

Indeed, Murat picked a winner meal for us at Oz Urfa–t’was our trip’s best kebab experience, by the way. Established in 1959, it also helped that they are a family-ran enterprise. Having been running for half a century already, they have become a mainstream brand to the locals. So when locals are asked by tourists, they probably reign as MOST RECOMMENDED!

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Spicy Minced Kebab
Photo Credit: Kim Taneza

After this fun night of great food, laughter, conversations (Google translate was not needed that time as Murat speaks English quite well.), and a long walk to the Marina, Murat invited us for a farewell dinner at his home on our last evening before we leave the island.

Turkish Hospitality

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Family Dinner at Demir’s Residence
Photo Credit: Karen Adayo

It was a good 30-minute trek to Murat’s place and we had a spectacular view of the sunset along the way.

As we arrived, Baba (Dad) and Aine (Momskies), were already preparing the food for us. We helped, too, in buying some stuff and the dinner preparation—Turkish style—comfortably seated on a Turkish carpet. Ali Baba (as his children fondly call him) grilled some chicken on skewers (MASHALLAH! MASHALLAH!) to go with the fresh garden salad that some of us helped with the chopping and tossing.

It was an enjoyable and delishkies dinner, and, while Baba was happily entertaining us, Murat on the other hand, continued to make us comfortably feel at home and showed us their family photos.

To cap the evening, freshly brewed black tea were served afterwards (to complete the whole production).

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Time for Turkish Tea
Photo Credit: @kurencyrulestheworld

What a really beautiful-hearted guy Murat is, and, we will never forget such profound level of grace and goodness that he (and his family) has shown to us all. Tessekurler!

eugephemisms: Life is indeed kind. Meeting Murat is a testament that kindness in each of us humans is boundless. Therefore, let us keep our fountainhead of kindness always open for those around us and those we’ll meet or come in contact with in this lifetime.

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