October 4, 2023

By Margaret Sheard ….

We met up with friends, John and Valerie Aziz Kent, their daughter Leyla and friend Jacqui for dinner at the Tervetuloa Restaurant in Alsancak and had a wonderful evening, being able to celebrate together the easing of measures implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tervetuloa Hotel and Restaurant is one of our favourite places to eat, even though a fair distance to travel from Ozankoy, the food is exceptionally good and they serve the best and largest selection of mezes we have ever encountered anywhere.  

It was nice to say hello to the owner of the hotel and restaurant, Afet Berhas, after such a long time and we were pleased to see that for a Monday evening the restaurant was very well attended.  Perhaps this was due to wonderful food and the weekly Monday music, which is provided by Hasan Gűnyűz who plays guitar and on this occasion his theme was Spanish music, which was lovely to listen to.  Hasan performs each Monday from 9pm to 11pm.

During the lockdown Afet was busy making ornamental lights from her gourds and what a sight it was when they were lit up, with unique patterns on each light arranged in groups all around the outside dining area.

Since we last visited Tervetuloa, there has been the addition of a new indoor bar and dining area which is very large and nicely laid out for the cooler months or when too hot to eat outside.  A very nice looking addition to the restaurant.

I have included a picture from the Tervetuloa facebook page of a typical 2-person meze and Afet told me they change the mezes from time to time by including different items so they are not always the same.  I noticed in our mezes when they arrived that there were some small roast potatoes included which I had never seen previously.

Our meal started and the mezes started arriving and kept coming.  I find this to be almost a meal in itself and by the time I am half way through the main course I am too full to finish it and invariably have to take half of it home.   As a vegetarian I had asked for a different main meal and I was presented with a vegetable moussaka, which was delicious but as usual I took half of it home and enjoyed for my lunch the following day.  Most of the others in our group had kleftiko which they said was wonderful and so nicely cooked.  Afet was very attentive, checking from time to time that all the diners were happy and enjoying the evening.

During the evening some of the guests danced to the music, including John Aziz with his daughter Leyla and then again with his wife Valerie. 

When I have previously found it necessary to take part of my meal home, I have always been given the dish it was served in, so now I have an excuse to visit the restaurant again to return the dish!

It was a very pleasant evening, spent with friends we haven’t seen for a while, with excellent food and nice music in a lovely garden area with nice plants and light features and being waited on by the friendly staff who have been at the restaurant for many years and treat you like old friends.   What more could you ask.

left to right : Jacqui, Leyla, Valerie, Margaret, Chris, John

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