Sharing good food and good conversation are the basics for a good time with your partner, family or friends. Sharing makes the food experience even better, especially for the food lover who likes to taste all of what the world has to offer.
One of the places that embraces this philosophy is Mezze. Mezze, a Middle Eastern, Mediterranean- style restaurant, opened its doors in mid-September, 2016. The term “mezze” is well known in the Middle East where the culture is based on tight knit family bonds; a great sense of community; where guests are welcomed with open arms and can never be allowed to leave with an empty stomach. Mezzes are small appetizers served to be shared by all.
The Power Duo
The owners, Ahmet and Efekan Canbazoglu, a father and son duo, originally came from Turkey. Father Ahmet is a self- made cook who grew into a successful restauranteur in Istanbul, Turkey as co- owner of a restaurant there and then spent 17 years in Rumania, running the Mezze concept that they have been introducing on the island. Many well-known people became his guests. Politicians and world renowned soccer players favored his food, which led to a spread in the Forbes magazine.
Growing up with food all around him, son, Efe(kan), found his passion and direction early in life. Before coming to Bonaire, Efe studied in London, England at the Cordon Blue Culinary School and then worked in different locations, working 14–16 hours daily. Besides his passion for food, Efe is very grateful for the life lessons he has learned from his father –to work hard and go after his dreams, but do this without harming others and always stay respectful.
From Istanbul to Bonaire
Even though they had never visited Bonaire, they heard about the island and its potential via a friend who had been on the island for over 7 years. In February, 2015, the duo came to the island to explore possibilities. Both of them loved Bonaire, the culture and its people. Finding the right location was more difficult, but they finally found the right place.
They packed up their things in Turkey and Rumania and started to renovate their new restaurant, Mezze, on Bonaire which was completed in September this year.
Mezze Restaurant Bonaire
Mezze is located at Kaya C.E.B Hellmund, Playa Pariba, opposite the south pier and facing the Caribbean Sea and has been turned into a tastefully decorated, Middle Eastern-themed restaurant.
Open 6 days a week for dinner, Mezze is only closed on Tuesdays. Any other day you will be greeted with a warm welcome and the most delicious, freshly prepared and healthy food.
Here are our favorites to give you an idea what is available.
Start your night by selecting several mezzes (small plates) to share.
Hummus - a chickpea, tahini, garlic and lemon mix and a great dip for the freshly baked pita bread
Shaved Mushroom - mushrooms served with butter, cheese, pine nuts and truffle oil
Stuffed Grape Leaves - grape leaves filled with rice, seven spices, garlic and cilantro
Grilled Turkish Sujuk - Turkish sausage served with pepper and tomato
Our main course choices:
Slow-cooked Lamb Shank - a lamb shank slow cooked for 48 hours prepared in a Turkish oven served with jus, veggies and couscous.
Turkish Kebap - a beef-lamb combo grilled and served with vegetables, parsley and basmati rice.
Daily fish specials – these change depending on the fresh catch available
For your sweet tooth:
Baklava - puff pastry with pistachio served with ice cream
Dates-Chocolate (fondant, ice cream, hazelnut)
Mezze buys some fresh vegetable produce on the island, but the magical ingredients, even the olive oil, are all frequently brought from Turkey to keep the taste original,.
Food and their profession is the most important thing in their lives. Ahmet and Efe get up every day in the early morning to head to the restaurant, drink their coffee overlooking the sea and then head right into preparing for the dinner to come.
Kaya C.E.B Hellmund Playa Pariba 17
Open Wednesday – Monday for dinner
Phone +599 786 86 31