Like most people, Lex & I had not strayed far from the most well known of Turkish Cuisine the kebap, gozleme and pide before, and as such we were quite excited to delve into the world of restaurant style Turkish food. We arrived and I was surprised to see that the dining room was much larger than I had thought it would be. The room was abuzz with conversation and quite busy but the wait-staff had us at our table with minimal fuss.
Pide bread, baked fresh in house ($3.00).
After musing over the Menu for quite some time we finally made our selections and opted for some fresh baked Pide bread to keep us going until the entrées arrived. The house made pide was warm, light and fluffy and as a result it disappeared in no time.
Karides – Qld king prawns with shiitake mushrooms and cavalo nero, served with lemon and yoghurt sauce ($21.00).
I chose the prawns feeling they would be light enough to save some room for my main and possibly dessert. Succulent and fresh instantly filled my thoughts as I ate the first of my king prawns. The Tuscan cabbage has a more textural bite than similar vegetables which, with the subtle yoghurt made for a wonderful combination. No single flavour or texture was paramount just a nice and enjoyable dish that felt balanced from start to finish.
Kabak Mucver – crispy zucchini puffs, served with yoghurt and dill sauce ($21.00).
Lex’s zucchini puffs were golden and appeared quite delicious. But anyone who knows Lex is aware of her aversion to sauces especially any with even just a hint of vinegar so the yoghurt and dill combination was a bit too overbearing in flavour and volume for her tastes.
Borek – hand made filo pastry rolls filled with Bulgarian feta and parsley ($21.00).
Meghan’s borek looked gorgeous and were reportedly as pleasing to the palate as they were to our eyes. The audible crunch heard across the table gave a good indication that they were cooked superbly and my decision was made to try these on my next visit.
Cicek – zucchini flowers with goats feta and spinach ($21.00).
Ryan’s zucchini flowers were neatly arranged and drizzled with yoghurt. They looked quite impressive and Lex had food envy as she only decided to have the puffs over the flowers as she goes for the zucchini flowers every time they are on the menu.
Pirzola – Qld lamb cutlets seasoned with oregano; char-grilled served with potato kofte ($33.00).
Well presented and cooked with great skill, the lamb was juicy and the oregano seasoning was subtle and well placed. Crispy, golden and brown on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside made for the perfect potato kofte. The dish was a tad heavy and a more substantial salad would have been nice to lighten it up.
Kofte – char-grilled house made traditional lamb kofte, served with white bean & red onion ($30.00).
Possibly the most traditional choice of a main at our table, the aroma of grilled lamb filled the air as the dish arrived. With just a simple arrangement of the three elements on the plate one could imagine this dish is all about the taste and not the styling.
Biftek – char-grilled Angus sirloin served on skordalia with shitake mushrooms, spinach and red wine jus ($35.00).
One may think that having steak for lunch and dinner may be slight overkill in the beef department, I however disagree. The grain fed sirloin contrasted starkly with the grass fed cut I had enjoyed for lunch; it is easy to say that the two offer quite a different experience. The Biftek was amazingly succulent and had such a full body of flavour, with my order of rare done justice. The potato based skordalia was soft and quite fine allowing it to carry the red wine jus with each mouthful.
Fatush Salata – cos lettuce, mint, shallot & walnuts tossed with pomegranate dressing & lavosh pieces ($10.00).
Surprisingly it was the side salad with the quintessential Turkish flavours of sumac, paprika and pomegranate dressing that made me realise what I had missed for the entire meal. I had been looking forward to what the salad presented and only wished my choices of entrée and main could have given me the same satisfaction.
House made blood orange ice cream with chocolate smear and mint biscuits (complimentary).
To our delight we were greeted by our waiter who informed us that we were to recieve a complimentary dessert teaser, which she thought was ‘probably a sorbet’. She returned later to advise it was a Blood Orange or Plum Orange sorbet but still had no idea. Upon arrival we were quite impressed with the plating and aroma of the Blood Orange sorbet, though it was slightly too hard (no doubt due to the process of making the quenelle and freezing it ahead of time). That aside it was wonderful and could not have finished the meal any better. The citrus acidity was subdued by the mint biscuits and it all left such a fresh taste in the mouth.
Penfolds Bin 28 Shiraz
Crn Broughton Street & Blackall Street
Barton ACT 2600
(02) 6273 6111
Ottoman Cuisine Website