Unlike most other Turkish eateries in Sydney, this restaurant doesn’t serve kebabs. This restaurant, which opened in 2017, is based on a very old style of Eastern Mediterranean dining: the meyhane. It means “house of wine” but if you asked someone in Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria or the Balkan states, they’d probably tell you it’s a place to down a few shots of raki (aniseed-based liqueur), eat old-fashioned meze and have a bloody good time.
In Turkey many meyhanes are known for the sheer amount of meze they serve – contrary to popular belief, meze isn’t dips, it’s a catch-all term for “food to drink with” – and here dinner guests are presented with a tray of 40 meze. There’s garlicky fried vegetables, stuffed artichoke, a bowl of tangy green-chilli dip and a few zucchini flowers jammed with a rich pilaf. You can stick to the meze or add a whole fish (steamed, salt-baked or grilled) and a few skewers of charcoal-roasted meat.
The meze here are made almost daily, and the owner Askin Kosar heads to Flemington Markets every for the fish. He also makes his own cream, pickles and bread. In a woodfired oven he bakes pide, burek (a rolled filo pastry) and simit (a sesame-topped ring-shaped roll), which he includes in the weekend breakfast buffet.