Most people’s idea of Turkish food ends with kebabs and pides. But beneath the surface there’s a quiet complexity simmering away, and techniques that aren’t so different to those used in fine dining. Here are the restaurants with solid reputations in Sydney’s Turkish community.
Ferah Café and Restaurant For Sydney’s best Turkish breakfast head to Ferah Cafe and Restaurant. You’ll never look at eggs on toast the same way again once you experience this breakfast platter. It’s covered with Turkish cheeses; nuts; fruits; tomatoes; olives; hot pastries with spice-mince centres; and ramekins filled with Turkish jams. It comes with toasted Turkish bread, bowls of roughly fried eggs and Turkish sausage. All pastries and sweets are made in-house. Mon to Sun 9am - 9pm
Stanbuli Ex-Porteño guys Joe Valore and Elvis Abrahanowicz opened a kind-of Turkish meze speakeasy in December 2015. Inside a former hair salon, with its salmon-coloured paint and signage left as it was found, you’ll find the beautifully tiled restaurant. Break away from stereotypes of Turkish food (kebabs, shish or pide) and enjoy the complex flavours of pastirma (seasoned, air-dried cured beef) with chilli, garlic, fenugreek and cumin. And mussels stuffed with fragrant rice. Enjoy it with aniseed-infused Turkish liquor. Wed to Sat 6pm - 11pm, Sunday 6pm - 10pm.
Hakiki Turkish Ice Cream and Baklava
For genuine Turkish ice-cream and sweets try Hakiki Turkish Ice Cream and Baklava. Husband and wife Nev and Zeyneb Bagriyanik make everything by hand in ceramic Turkish pots. The chewy Turkish ice-cream is famous for its nougat-like texture, and the baklava comes in flavours such as fig, walnut, feta and rockmelon. Sip on rich, dark coffee, which is warmed up on a bed of hot sand.
Sun to Thurs 11:30am - 10:30pm
Sat & Sun 11:30am - 11:30pm
Pasha’s Restaurant Ceramics, lanterns and plump, embroidered crimson poufs decorate this Turkish restaurant. Sample dishes from all over Turkey while sipping on authentic Turkish spirits. Snack on stuffed vine leaves, pacanga borek (fried pastry) and kayseri manti (steamed dough stuffed with beef). The roving belly dancer makes a great addition to events and parties .
Hours: Mon to Fri 5.30pm–10.30pm Sat & Sun 5pm–10:30pm
Sultans Table Go past the takeaway station at the front of the shop, detour around the crowd lining up and at the back of the shop you’ll find the restaurant. Its nickname – “The Sultan” – came about because it’s often described as the “King of Kebabs” in the inner west. The owner, Yavuz "Joe" Cikar, uses his mother’s recipes and the freshest ingredients. The walls are lined with Turkish carpets. The pide here is very good, or there’s locally revered kebabs and a bigt selection of vegetarian dishes.
Highlights include the manti (Turkish-style ravioli) served with yoghurt and a signature sauce), And the guvec (lamb and vegetables cooked in a traditional clay pot.) There’s also the array of meze and dips, including a punchy beetroot dip. Book ahead because this place gets packed.
Hours: Sun to Tue 11am–11pm Wed & Thu 11am–1 am Fri & Sat 11am–2pm