Driving in Mersin is a bit of a hit and miss situation for me most of the time and I don’t mean being hit or missing other cars, dolmuş or pedestrians. This is more of a situation where trying to find where you are going is literally impossible. Street maps just don’t exist. Directions are either shouted at you by a crazed local or at best scribbled on the back of napkins and my GPS in the car spends most of its time telling me I am either driving in the deniz or going through a fecking mountain. The city itself isn’t very wide, you can drive from the beach to the foot of the hills in probably 15 minutes but to drive the length of the city can take you a good two hours from go to woe!
Right now our little expat group is in the midst of arranging our Christmas party and in order to do so we have been zipping around checking out a few different restaurants. This week we went to check a relatively new restaurant named Lychee.
Lychee should have – SHOULD HAVE – been relatively easy for me to find. It was on a main road, a road that I travelled regularly, and the restaurant looked huge so common sense tells me that it will be pretty easy to locate. Yes? NO!
When I say that this restaurant is located in a vortex or perhaps a black hole, you need to believe me. When I also say that I could never go on The Amazing Race because I can get lost in the confines of a paper bag you should believe that too. No really. My body has no internal GPS system actually I have no sense of direction at all. This could possibly be a chronic medical condition. It will be named “NoSense-itus”. It is definitely hereditary and although I don’t know who precisely I can blame (being adopted and all that) but I think its a condition that should be researched so future generations are saved from this affliction.
The plan was to go to Lychee for lunch on Wednesday and me, being terribly efficient, thought I should locate the restaurant to ensure that I will have no problems finding it on the day (as I do tend to misplace myself on a regular basis). I looked up its website. A bit confusing, not really about the restaurant, more about some kind of food consultancy group. What the what? So I went to my backup plan of Facebook. Facebook really can be considered the new Google for Mersin restaurants. Google may not have the information (as restaurants here rarely have websites) but Facebook bloody well will because everyone loves to ‘check in’. But on their Facebook page the restaurant’s address is noted as “centre”. Centre? Centre of the city? Centre of the universe? Centre of the vortex? What the feck is centre?
My first attempt to locate the restaurant was a complete failure. After punching in the address into my GPS in the car I arrived at vacant land about 4 blocks from where the actual restaurant was finally located. My second attempt, using Google maps, was more successful. I made it to the location but still couldn’t find the restaurant. I parked my car and even walked up and down the block but the restaurant still remained hidden in the vortex opening only to those who are worthy.
Feck my life!
“This place does not exist!” I shouted for the world to hear.
“Ummm yes it does stupid Aussie girl.”
And of course the masses were right. After standing on the street and calling out “Abracadabra” the restaurant appeared before me, like the Room of Requirement (Muggle nerd alert).
Having finally found it I just want to say, the restaurant was lovely. The service was good, although initially the waiter was slightly traumatized by my wanting a bottle of wine with only one glass (in fact the waiter sent the manager over to check that it was my intention to drink the bottle myself. Really? You will consume all of this? Ummm don’t judge me mate just bring me the bottle!). The food was European cuisine and delicious, in fact there were way too many options for just one visit! The cocktail list was as long as my arm and (apparently) sensational. The prices were spot on, in fact they were downright reasonable compared to the prices at Marina (just saying).
Updated: Sadly the restaurant has now changed hands and is part to the “Yasmine” chain. This means that it no longer serves alcohol (instead it has nargile or Turkish water pipes up the wazoo) and that the quality of food has dropped dramatically. It does, however, have a huge play area for the kiddie-winks.
The search continues for our Christmas party destination but Lychee is definitely now on rotation and will be visited by us ladies again soon (again assuming the vortex opens for me).
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