Sunday, May 4, 2008

Efendy in Balmain - Modern Turkish

When I first heard about Efendy and their Modern Turkish cuisine, I knew I just had to go try it. And who else but my partner in crime? It took me and Moishii ages to find a day that suits both of us since we're so busy all the time. But the day finally came around, and all he had to do was drive through a thunderstorm to pick me up! We arrive at Efendy's and find a car parking spot right outside the main entrance:

We're seated, literally in the corner of the restaurant. I'm actually tucked into a corner where I can barely get out without knocking the table over. The good thing though, was that it was quite warm in my corner.

We had a quick look at the menu before we went, but we still didn't know what to order. You see, we almost wanted to cancel dinner because we wanted to save money. We all know what happens when we save money right? So our plans of a main each kind of went out the window when we saw the mezze platter. So it became 2 mains and mezze. Then we got a bit carried away and ordered other stuff as well....

Fresh baked turkish bread rolls with pepper olive oil and olive and chilli dip

Mezze for 2

Cerkez Tavuk - Circassian chicken dip, garlic, walnut aioli and paprika oil

This was unbelievably good. I actually found a recipe for it a few months ago and emailed it to Moishii, who said he's never heard of it before. But what was served definitely didn't disappoint. The dip was creamy and aromatic and I treated it more like a salad than a dip by shoveling it down my throat.

Mercimek Kofte - Lentil, bulghur and spice kofte on cos lettuce

For some reason, we thought this would have raw meat in it. Just shows how much we actually bother reading. This was lovely with a squeeze of lemon served with the cold crunchy lettuce.

Patlican salata - Smoked baby eggplant, grilled capsicum and pomegranate salad

This was twist on the traditional babaganoush. The dip was much chunkier than you're used to, and the ruby red pomegranate seeds bursting in your mouth was the perfect contrast you needed.

Borek - Spicy lamb, feta and capsicum filled pastry

This is nothing like the borek we have in Turkey, but it was delicious! It was closer to a Lebanese ladies finger, but hey, I wasn't complaining.

Gozleme - Feta cheese with parsley rolled in thin yufka pastry

This was nice, but it can't compare to the ones you get at the Glebe markets.

Ahtaphot - Grilled baby octopus marinated with grape pekmez, chilli and oregano

Tender smokey grilled baby octopus. MMMmmm the left over sauce was perfect to mop up with the hot crusty Turkish bread.

Our intention of "saving" money on this dinner, somehow involved us ordering a salad to go with it?

Efendy salad - Rocket, brown Turkish fig, feta and walnuts

I really loved this salad. The pepperiness of the rocket, the creamy feta and the crunch of the Turkish fig and walnut made the perfect salad. This is something I'm going to make again in my own time.

By this stage, we were getting quite stuffed. But when I saw my main put down infront of me. Oh gosh...

Ordek - Confit of Duck leg, Anatolian cheese baklava, poached quince and zeytinyagli fasulye

The duck was alot firmer than I would've liked a confit to be, but the cheese baklava more than made up for that criticism. If only they served more of it!

Kuzu Incik - LAMB SHANK slow cooked in pomegranate and saffron, chickpea and barley pilaf

This was Moishii's, and although it was a bit spicy for him, I think he enjoyed it.

You think we'd be full by this stage, but the stupid switch got flicked on in our brain so we both ordered dessert. Not to share, but one each as we assumed it'll be the same size as the mezze.

Chocolate Baklava - Dark chocolate mousse, baklava wafers, Pedro Ximenez spiced sour cherry compote, salep ice cream

This was more like a chocolate brownie between baklava sheets. It was so rich and decadent, that you really needed the sour cheery to cut through it. The ice cream was also fantastic, it tasted like orange blossom ice cream which I devoured. We really should've shared this, as we barely got through half a plate each. Moishii was tempted to hide the food in my handbag, Mr Bean style.

Turkish tea and turkish delight to end it all

I was so full at this stage that I couldn't even sip water. I could be in the desert, dehydrated and ready to die, and I still wouldn't be able to sip water to save my life. Our "lets save some money and not go nuts with food" plan when down the drain with a $180 bill. But it was so SO worth it.

79 Elliott Street (Corner of Darling Street)
Balmain NSW 2041
Ph: 02 9810 5466

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