Enmore Road is chock-a-block with new bars and cool restaurants these days. I will be back to try some of the new ones I spotted, but was very glad to catch up with my excellent friend Mary to go to Stanbuli, which perhaps was one of the heralds of the new, hip Enmore.
Brought to us by the folks behind Porteño, I knew this was going to be good, and we weren’t disappointed. Turkish street food. What fun. Sat downstairs (walking in at 6:30pm on a Friday night, didn’t have any problems getting seated) and had an expensive but tasty bottle of a pinot-like Turkish wine and… ah, the food…
So good. We did order too much. Seven dishes from the left-hand side of the menu (mezze) and one from the right-hand side (grill). For the two of us, we really should have ordered one or two less dishes… We thought that the smaller dishes would have been smaller than they were!
The bread was so tasty, and apparently necessarily with some of our dishes. Olives lovely. The smoked eggplant with parsley and pomegranate seeds was a highlight.
Cuttlefish over some sort of potato salad. Lovely.
Stuffed mussels: wow. The taste of cloves was unusual. Just the right amount of rice stuffing. And I’ve never had stuffed mussels before.
I had one of the best kofte ever (though Mary found her fish sandwich a bit… fishy). The stuffed zucchini flowers were perfect.
We only had one of the main, grilled dishes. Perfect swordfish pieces, a cutlet served up in smaller bites, on top of an interesting grain in a tomato sauce.
Ah, and a favourite of the night: watermelon, feta and macerated dried apricots (in sherry). Sounds simple and I will try to make it, but the proportions, the combo, the flavours were just right.
Not sure about the long counter seating system. The woman next to me couldn’t seem to figure out how to eat without knocking into me so we shifted down. But the service was perfect, the sort of knowledgeable and efficient service by friendly young folks that Sydney seems to be specialising in these days. And I love that they kept the original store frontage of Mary Louise’s Hair Salon.