Lamuko’s Lokanta: A delightful Japanese restaurant in Pamukkale

Omurice at Lamuko no Lokanta

Is it still Friday at where you are living? Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.
Today we’re going to Pamukkale in Turkey for some Japanese food.

Coca Cola ad in Turkish

While in Pamukkale, I found out through Foursquare that there was Japanese restaurant–Lamuko no Lokanta–near the hotel which we were staying at.

My mom who was not used to Turkish food said we must visit the place so we had dinner one night. The food was so good that we went on the second day just for its desserts.

Lamuko no Lokanta

Lamuko's Lokanta in Pamukkale
Lamuko’s Lokanta in Pamukkale

Lamuko no Lokanta, or Lamuko’s Lokata, is run by a Japanese lady. From my eavesdropping, I found out that her name wasn’t Lamuko as the shop name suggests but was Noriko.

Outside of the shop, you will see a banner with photos of different Japanese food. The sign in Japanese advises people who are not customers not to take photo of the banner, but why it was in Japanese was a mystery.

The restaurant looks like the front yard of someone’s house but with a few tables out for guests. The eating space is cosy with about 6 tables that can sit about 4 to 6 people each.

There is also a small section of Turkish seats.

Turkish seats at Lamuko's Lokanta
Turkish seats at Lamuko’s Lokanta

What’s most amazing about the setting is the grape vine ceiling.

When we were there in end-May, the grapes were just growing. It would be amazing if the grapes were ripe and everyone could pick them off their vines.

Grape vines
Grape vines
Unripe grapes
Unripe grapes

Lamuko no Lokanta’s menu

Since this is not a post about the setting of Lamuko, I’ll get on talking about the food.

The restaurant’s menu is decorated in the Japanese-cute style with little speech bubbles above hand drawn animals.

Lamuko's Lokanta cute menu
Lamuko’s Lokanta cute menu

Apart from Japanese meals, the menu includes Turkish food and simple western dishes such as spaghetti.

The pasta section warned that spaghetti is a dish everyone must avoid in Turkey, but it’s ok to order it at Lamuko’s because they cook it nicely. (Mom did order a spaghetti Bolognese at another place. It was too squish and quite gross.)

On the menu, the ginger chicken rice bowl is the most popular dish. Mom got this for dinner.

The chicken was fragrant and did taste of ginger. Mom even felt that the rice serving was too much.

Ginger chicken rice bowl
Ginger chicken rice bowl

For me, I ordered an omurice. I absolutely adore omurice, going to the extend of travelling to an omurice speciality restaurant in Tokyo.

The omurice was alright at Lamuko. The egg omelette blanketed the tomato sauce rice, instead of the usual egg wrapping. It was tasty enough that I finished the whole thing.

Omurice <3 <3
Omurice <3 <3

While we were eating, the owner brought over a plate of dark cherries. This turns out to be a complimentary dessert. Yums.

After our meal, we ordered Today’s Desserts. It was a banana cake. Mom’s favorite cake is banana cake so she happily ate it.

When we went back the next day, Today’s Desserts was still banana cake but we ordered it anyway because we loved it so much.

Banana cake
Banana cake

We sipped apple tea at the restaurant. It was 1.50 lira each, a reasonable price compared with other restaurants.

Apple tea
Apple tea

Modelling Clay, the dog

When we were dining at night, a large golden lab came in. It picked up a squished mineral water bottle and brought it to me and my mom.

Even though it showed big puppy dog eyes, mom and I were not dog people so we only gave it sad glances and ignored the bottle.

The owner called the dog “Nendou”, which means “modelling clay” in Japanese. That is just the most adorable name for a dog.


Where was the strangest place you have eaten Japanese food?

Waiting for the bus to Sercuk [YQrtw Day 54 May 31]

Pamukkale Post Office

Location: Pamukkale, Turkey

I’ve grown to like unwinding days during this trip. I secretly wish to have days when I do not need to sightsee or walk under the hot sun, to sit in the shade and scroll through my Feedly for cat photos.

Today was such a day. Mom and I were travelling to Sercuk at 4:00pm for our Ephesus tour tomorrow morning.

The travel agents have been very enthusiastic in pushing the day tour for Aphrodisias. As much as I love crumbled buildings full of history, I’ve had quite enough of walking in the hot sun looking at crumbled buildings. Well, at least for today.

I managed to convince mom that we should hang out at the hotel until our check out time at 11:00 am. In the early morning, mom–who had napped for a long time yesterday–went for a walk by herself while I continued to sleep.

The part where I sing praises about egg

When I woke up, mom was back from her walk. We had our hotel buffet breakfast. My very favorite type of food for breakfast here is the egg.

The marvellous, humble, notorious, protein-packed hard boiled egg.

In the face of unfamiliar breakfast food such as bread, tomato, cheese and ham, the egg triumphs for its complex flavor.

The part where I forget my ATM card and get ourselves lost

The thing about travelling with someone else is that they will see all the travel mistakes I make along the way.

I do not mind getting lost and finding my way back but with my mother, it’s a lot harder to continue getting lost as she would ask me to ask for directions. (I detest asking for directions.)

This morning, after breakfast, we walked to the main road for the ATMs. I told my mom that she was taking the wrong path and said we should take the two paths and see who is right.

Turns out mom was right. Oh well.

We did manage to find the row of ATMs. However, I was devastated to discover that I left my ATM in my other bag.


My misadventures for the day did not stop there.

When we went looking for the post office, I some how misread my Google Maps directions and went to two wrong places before mom asked some school kids how to get there.

Well, at least there was an ATM there and we could get some cash out.

Walking to Pamukkale's post office
Walking to Pamukkale’s post office

The rest of the day was spent at a tourist-oriented restaurant run by the hilarious 68-year-old Mustafa. We then head to the Japanese restaurant for Today’s Desserts which was banana cake and was also Yesterday’s desserts.

At the restaurants, Mom and I bumped into two groups of Malaysian girls. One group were air hostess in Oman while the other came on the same flight as mom. It’s a really small world.

PS It seems like we’ve met more East Asian girls travelling than boys. Can someone explain why this is the case?

Eventually, our bus to Sercuk arrived. It was a van. I was stuck in the corner with a really chatty Brazillian who talked to an Argentinian girl about travel throughout the first 2 hour of the journey. I never knew anyone could talk so long without stopping to breathe.

Snowy white Cotton Castle–Pamukkale [YQrtw Day 53 May 30]

Cotton Castle--Pamukkale

Location: Pamukkale, Turkey

Pamukkale terraces

Our bus reached Pamukkale town around 6:30am. Fortunately, our hotel had a free twin room and we were allowed to check in ahead of the official timing.

We went for breakfast–half knowing that this probably wasn’t covered in our hotel charges–and ate loads of carbs to give us energy for the day. (Later, the receptionist confronted us about the breakfast. We paid 7 lira each for it.)

Originally on our itinerary, we were supposed to have a free day today and have our tour the next day. I decided that it would be too tiring for us tomorrow to finish our tour at 4pm and hop on the bus to Selçuk 30 minutes afterwards.

So I went out to ask if we could do the tour today instead. I bumped into a person who claimed to be from the travel agency–I found out much later that he wasn’t–who said we could do the tour earlier.

The man also creepily asked me to sit in an empty shop to “chat”. I gave an excuse that I need to bring the Wi-Fi password to mom so I could not stay even for 1 minute.

Later during pick up time, we were approved by the real tour company people to go on the tour today.

I’ll just skip the first two sights that we visited, although they are quite amazing on their own.

First we saw the red hot spring source. The water had a lot of iron in it so the mineral would deposit on the sand and leave red marks. The water did taste like blood, as the tour guide said, due to the iron inside.

Red hot spring

Then it was Heriapolis where we saw about 2km of stone coffins, tombs and mausoleums. We also saw the ruins of the city itself, with plenty of columns around.

I was disappointed when the tour guide told me that there were no ghost stories about the necropolis that we were walking through. I want ghost stories, please!


Visiting the Cotton Castle

YQ in Pamukkale

The highlight of this tour was the Pamukkale terraces. The hot spring water that had much calcium in it would deposit the mineral and leave the side of the mountain looking like it was covered in snow

Pamukkale’s name is Turkish means Cotton Castle, which I think is a really cute name. Cotton Candy Castle will make it even sweeter.

Since we had 2 hours of free time, I took the opportunity to bath in one of the hot springs pool. Entrance fee was 32 lira, a little steep but I felt that it was worth it since I did not have to be in the sun. I hide in one of the shades of the flowers.

* If you want to swim in Pamukkale for free, do it in the terraces where the calcium deposits are.

The walk down from the hill top was treacherous. Mom and I had to take off our shoes so we don’t spoil the pristine white surfaces.

Water kept flowing and parts of the ground was slippery or filled with water that passes an adult’s knees. Luckily, we made it in the end without any major catastrophes. A minor bump during our walk down was when one of my shoes fell into the water.

Later in the evening, I went with the hotel shuttle bus to watch sunset on top of a mountain. There, I managed to slip on a little slope and hurt only some small parts of my hands.

More on the blog:

Last week, I was travelling from Athens, Greece, to Istanbul, Turkey, on an epic 15-hour bus ride.