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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Chef's Menu at Stanbuli, Enmore

Chef's menu banquet at Stanbuli in Enmore

I went to Turkey for my birthday, a night filled with smoky charcoal grilled meats, zingy salads and soft and fluffy bread fresh from the oven. Except we didn't need our passports and no flights were required. We took a trip down the road to Enmore to Stanbuli and found ourselves transported to Turkey, snacking on meze and charcoal grilled meats in a non-stop two hour feast.

Cocktails at Stanbuli in Enmore

We've chosen the Chef's Menu at Stanbuli, a rolling banquet of dishes priced at $75 per person. The menu is entirely in the hands of head chef Ibrahim Kasif, although they will happily accommodate any dietary requirements. We let them know we'll eat everything - including all kinds of offal - and wait in suspense as to what will arrive.

Turkish snacks at Stanbuli in Enmore
Round 1: Snacks

Our table of nine is hit with an assortment of snacks to start. There's nothing quite like seeing a table littered with dishes. My favourite is probably the rockmelon, lush and syrupy sweet, against the cool brininess of Turkish sheeps milk feta.

Rockmelon with Turkish sheeps milk feta at Stanbuli in Enmore
Rockmelon with Turkish sheeps milk feta

House cured pastirma spiced beef with pickles at Stanbuli in Enmore
House cured pastirma spiced beef with pickles

Ekmek daily baked house bread at Stanbuli in Enmore
Ekmek daily baked house bread

The house bread is also amazing. Fresh from the oven, the crust is noisily crisp against its pillowy innards.

Turkish Cypriot style green olives at Stanbuli in Enmore
Turkish Cypriot style green olives

Midye dolma mussels stuffed with rice at Stanbuli in Enmore
Midye dolma 
Mussels stuffed with rice

And we're pleased to receive one of their signature dishes, mussels stuffed with rice. It's deliciously simple but so tasty for such a modest mouthful.

Turkish meze at Stanbuli in Enmore
Round 2: Meze

Our table is cleared for the next round of dishes, a rainbow of meze. We pick our way through creamy lambs brains, tender pickled lambs tongue and a variety of cold dishes marked by a distinct tartness from pomegranate molasses.

Bakla broadbeans in their pods at Stanbuli in Enmore
Bakla broad beans in their pods 
braised in olive oil, tomato and lemon

The broad bean dish is one of my highlights, cooked to a velvety softness with the slight acidity of lemon and tomato.

Cig kofte raw meatballs with bulgur at Stanbuli in Enmore
Cig kofte
Raw meatballs with bulgur, onion and tomato paste

Raw meatballs aren't as heavy on the raw meat as you'd expect. There's a chewiness from soaked bulgur, seasoned with tomato paste, onion and plenty of spices.

Pickled lambs tongue at Stanbuli in Enmore
Pickled lambs tongue
with white bean salad

Patlican smoky eggplant salad at Stanbuli in Enmore
Patlican smoky eggplant salad 
with peppers, tomatoes and chilli

Kisir Turkish tabouli at Stanbuli in Enmore
Kisir Turkish tabouli 
Raw kingfish, bulgur, parsley and chillies in sumac, lemon and pomegranate

Beyin chilled lambs brain salad at Stanbuli in Enmore
Chilled lambs brain salad 

Lambs brains are wondrous. 

Ezme walnut, chillies, peppers and tomato salad at Stanbuli in Enmore
Finely chopped salad of walnuts, chillies, peppers and tomato with a pomegranate vinaigrette

Veal sweetbread in housemade milk bun at Stanbuli in Enmore
Veal sweetbread in housemade milk bun

Veal sweetbreads arrive in housemade milk buns, the kind of one-handed snack you could picture yourself eating while wandering the streets of Istanbul. 

Charcoal lamb ribs and chicken at Stanbuli in Enmore
Round 3: Charcoal

We're already groaning by the time the third round of dishes arrive, an assembly of charcoal grilled meats with salads and sides. 

Yaprak cigar pan-fried lamb liver at Stanbuli in Enmore
Yaprak cigar 
Pan-fried lamb liver spiced with cumin and chilli

Pan-fried lamb liver is seasoned generously with cumin and chilli. A salad of onion and purslane leaves works well against the spiced char. 

Patates yummurta handcut Mumma-style chips with cheesy zucchini at Stanbuli in Enmore
Patates yummurta
Handcut Mumma-style chips with cheesy zucchini and broken egg

Patates yummurta provides a comforting eggy take on handcut chips. The cheesy zucchini and egg mix is like a blanket of cheesy scrambled eggs. 

Whole chicken cooked over charcoal and wood at Stanbuli in Enmore
Whole chicken cooked over charcoal and wood with garlic tarator and lemon

Roasted chicken has a tantalising smokiness from charcoal and wood. The flesh is impressively succulent. We dip each piece greedily into the garlic tarator. Who cares about garlic breath when fluffy garlic dip is involved. 

Coban salatasi shepherds salad at Stanbuli in Enmore
Coban salatasi shepherds salad
Fresh market vegetables with herbs, lemon and olive oil

Shepherds salad is just what you need to break up the protein. We relish the crunch of cucumber, capsicum and red onion against juicy tomatoes in a lemon and herb dressing. 

Karburga smoky lamb ribs slow cooked over charcoal at Stanbuli in Enmore
Smoky lamb ribs slow cooked over charcoal and wood

We languish over a platter of smoky lamb ribs. The lamb is ribboned with creamy fat. It's a carnivore's pleasure of charred but juicy flesh. We rip every skerrick of meat off until to bones are clean. 

Coconut biscuit with coconut ice cream at Stanbuli in Enmore
Coconut biscuit with coconut ice cream

I score a birthday candle on one of the desserts, a coconut biscuit with coconut ice cream that I can't stop eating.  The toasted hazelnuts are wickedly good. 

Tahini parfait at Stanbuli in Enmore
Tahini parfait
with barley, pomegranate, almonds and sesame seeds

Tahini parfait is a sesame seed lover's delight. We scoop up spoonfuls of smooth parfait and appreciate the textural contrast of barley, black sesame seeds and pomegranates arils. 

Syrup soaked sponge with banana ice cream at Stanbuli in Enmore
Syrup soaked sponge with banana ice cream

We finish with a syrup soaked sponge, topped with a quenelle of banana ice cream and smothered in biscuit crumbs and passionfruit seeds. 

Needless to say, we roll out of there, happy and satiated. There's even a doggy bag to take home! And if you don't have a large group, the Chef's Menu is available for two. 

Stanbuli in Enmore

Stanbuli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

135 Enmore Road, Stanmore, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 8624 3132

Opening hours
Wednesday to Saturday 6pm-11pm
Sunday 6pm-10pm

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Stanbuli, Enmore (a la carte)
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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 12/18/2016 05:25:00 pm


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