Regulars of Efendy will tell you to go the ‘Anatolian Feast’ banquet menu. They’ll say it’s a smorgasbord of Turkish delights. And of course they’d be right. Chef, owner and all-round Turkish cuisine aficionado Somer Sivrioglu runs the joint so you know his share-plate feast is going to be rich in authentic Anatolian yumminess. Pop the belt in preparation; you’re gonna be here for the night.
I fear the meal may have peaked too early. I kid you not when I say the pomegranate infused humus is the BEST humus I have ever had. Big call. But as a once (admittedly part-time) vegetarian I know my humus and this one’s a winner. The fresh almonds are light and interesting and the saksuka is tomatoey and rich with a good balance of olive oil but the humus is the stand-out. Okay enough about the humus, move on from the humus.
And move on we did to entrees. We sample Icli, poached bulgur shells, spiced lamb and walnut, chili oil and yogurt, and Karides, shredded pastry wrapped king prawns over capsicum muhammara. The poached bulgar has an acquired, almost rubbery, texture which doesn’t really float my boat. But the delicately spiced lamb insides are very good. And hummah-hummah the Karides are amazing; beautifully cooked and seasoned prawns with a crunchy pastry coating – phenomenal. I have to hold back Mr LML from ordering more.
With a food coma approaching we persevere to be rewarded with dessert – the chef’s dessert platter to be precise – phew! We sample the Dondurma, a marash style knife cut salep and mastic ice cream with pistachio and the Kitir Kabak, candied crunchy blue pumpkin, yogurt mousse and walnut praline. The pumpkin provides an interesting take on a savoury sweet dessert for those that way inclined.
But it’s the Dondurma that has our tastebuds-a-tingling. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever had. Candy-floss meets creaminess meets lolly. It’s sticky and sweet, yet has a fragrant, delicate taste. Definitely put it on the unusual, must-eat list.
And it’s not all about the food. Efendy has a good wine list. When in Rome, I mean Turkey, go for an authentic drop. We chose the Sevilen ‘Majestik’ Sauvignon Blanc to be precise. It’s a perfect light accompaniment to the meal and at thirty-eight dollars per bottle it’s also reasonably priced.
Whether you want a romantic dinner for you and your piece of hot stuff, or are planning a large group gathering, Efendy has both bases covered. On a balmy summer evening my advice is to arrive early, settle in to your courtyard table and stay long. Mmm summer dining bliss Turkish style.
Louise and Mr LML dined as guests of Efendy.
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