Ask any discerning Sydneysider about Balmain dining and Somer Sivrioglu’s famous Efendy will most certainly be the first restaurant mentioned. Now heading into it’s 10th year, the acclaimed Ottoman homage remains a regular go-to for groups looking to sample a large range of traditional and contemporary foods inspired by Turkey and surrounds. That ain’t changing anytime soon, but a few notable changes have arrived as we dive deeper into 2017.
Following Sivrioglu’s recent trip to his home country, the Efendy kitchen will be slightly reworking their popular menu and introducing charcoal-focused dishes including a feast menu that promises groups a selection of cold mezze plates, a spread of meats cooked over charcoal (think Adana style lamb kebap and lamb shoulder tandir) and desserts like a “Turkish mess” of merengue, cream, berries, rose and pistachio.
Many of these ideas mirror the charcoal Kebap restaurants one would find all around South East Anatolia, enouraging Sivrioglu and his team to employ Anatolian cooking methods in order to see the new dishes live up the restaurant’s name.
“In Turkey, charcoal kebap culture is so strong, there are more than a hundred versions”, explained Sivrioglu. “There’s the familiar doner Kebap and the Adana Kebap right through to lesser known types made with quail, livers, sweetbreads and small fish”.
He continues: “although this is the oldest cooking method of civilisation, it is one of the hardest. On a recent trip to Istanbul I visited Zubeyir, a restaurant that cooks on charcoal in front of guests, so that I could learn more about managing the fire. The secret to cooking with coals and capturing the smokey flavours is to have no flame and just the glowing embers”.
Of course, even though this significant change is paving the way for the next level in Efendy’s history the favourites still remain. You’ll still have access one of the only comprehensive Turkish wine selections in Sydney; you’ll still be able to tuck into Efendy’s quintessential breakfast feast from 9am on weekends; and you’ll still be able to order up all the signatures which have remained on the beloved menu for years.
Address: 79 Elliot Street, Balmain
Contact: (02) 9810 5466
Hours: Sat-Sun (breakfast and lunch); Wed-Sun (Dinner)