7 Mehmet, the 7 mehmets or Yedi Mehmet, as it is called in Turkish, is perhaps not the oldest restaurant in Antalya, or atleast I do not know, because it’s nearly impossible to track, but the fact is, that the restaurant is an institution in Antalya, everyone is talking about. That 7 Mehmet has existed for so many years, is very unusual for the region (and must be considered as a reliable guarantee of good food and service). My husband and his family have always spoken highly of this restaurant and praise it for its elegance, hygiene and good food. They often used 7 Mehmet to celebrate different holidays and anniversaries, so it has a special place within the family. And maybe that is, what a good restaurant has to stand for – like a place where you have fond memories and where you want to return to again and again.
But then in my husband’s childhood and youth, when he lived in Antalya and often came there, 7 Mehmet was not like it is today. It lay on the beach, literally, so you could go directly from the small roofed building and out into the sand and play, and when eating the good, freshly caught fish caught, you could hear the waves roar in the background. That sounds – in my ear – to be a pretty nice place for a child and excactly the place, where you would want to eat your fish. According to his account, it was a rather primitive but authentic place, where there was only just the most necessary, but with fantastic food (mainly fish) and an unbeatable location.
7 Mehmet has through times, always had a reputation for being something of a soup kitchen, although today it is in the absolute finer end. The restaurant started in 1940 with just being a single man and his tiny little kitchen with a table and 4 chairs, that serviced the workers in the area with soup. Over the years the restaurant has grown bigger and bigger and – fortunately – with room for more and more guests. Through good contacts (7 Mehmet was the first restaurant in Antalya, which was shown to the first tourists, who came to the city in the 50s) and persistent quality, they have now manifested itself, as one of the greatest restaurants in Antalya, with a wide national and international audience. There is room for up to 1000 guests, but fortunately in several sections of the restaurant. It is now the third generation, who owns the restaurant, so 7 Mehmet is still very much a family restaurant. There are a few bids of how the restaurant got its name, but the best is, that a chef one day lost a hair in a portion of soup, a critical customer commented it, and therefore all the chefs had to shave their hair off as a punishment. Beneath all the hair of the owner, there appeared a scar from an old accident, where the shape of the scar meant 7 at the old Turkish alphabet. It became his nickname and in time the name of his restaurant – 7 Mehmet.
The restaurant serves the best of Mediterranean cuisine, and we’ve often enjoyed their really delicious meze (collection of several small dishes, that you can eat as an appetizer or as a supplement to the actual main course), their various Turkish dishes as Ali Nazik, several delicious salads and vegetable dishes. But 7 Mehmet is especially known for their good octopus salad and fish dishes, which Grida (bass) and swordfish is very central and are some of the finest and tastiest fish, you can find from the Mediterranean. All their ingredients are mainly from the local area and selected and cultivated with great care – and you can tast it! Their goatcheese is developed from goats from the area neraby and matured a year in a cave in the Taurus Mountains, that surround Antalya. You may even be allowed to come into the kitchen and choose the fish and the piece of meat, that you want to eat. A fairly good service, I think.
Prices are middle to high for Antalya, but the portions are large and the experience is worth it (and then it not as expensive from a Danish perspective and compared to Danish or English prices). The surroundings are quite unique for Antalya, since the restaurant is located on the outskirts of the city, perched on a rocky outcrop and in the middle of a big beautiful, well-kept garden. That means, that you have the most beautiful views of Antalya bay and towards town – an especially beautiful sight at night, when darkness falls and the lights are flashing. I must admit, that I really love to sit here on the terrace both at night and for lunch in a hot summer day, when there’s a completely special kind of peace (unless they show a local football match on the big tv-screen). Typical for several places in Antalya, thereis a playground for the kids, so they can be employed, if they do not have the energy to sit as long as the parents. I really do appreciate this thought, because doing so, might make your night out easier and much more relaxing, when you do not have to rush through the meal, but instead can sit and enjoy the food, the wine and the view.
You can easily reach the restaurant by both car and bus. If you are by bus, then get off at Konyaalti Beach Park or the big shopping center Migros 5M, which is just opposite. If you want to look at their website, you can see more here (but unfortunately you cannot see a menu). You can see the reviews of the restaurant here ( do I need to say, that they are mostly positive tangent to excellent ).
Most of the pictures I have been fortunate to be able to borrow from apartment-turkey.com, when mine was not as good.