We struggle to remember what we did yesterday let alone where we were at 10 years ago, so when we heard Sydney’s O.G. Turkish spot, Efendy in Balmain, had a new menu, it was a run don’t walk kind of situation.
The first of its kind to serve up contemporary and delicious Turkish eats to Sydney bellies, the crew at Efendy are celebrating 10 years of feasting with a luxe new menu. Inspired by the charcoal kebap restaurants of South East Antolia, all you need to know is that it is 147% worth the impending food baby.
It’ll come as no surprise that (you guessed it) their new menu is charcoal-focused. Which, just quietly, is exactly how we love our meat. Rocking up to Efendy on a wet Saturday evening, it felt like I’d just walked into my best mate’s place. Granted a mate with one really large lounge room, but welcoming all the same.
The best meals start with dips and bread and jackpot, you’ll find that here. This isn’t any old carbloading sesh though—this is mini house made pita bread with thyme, sumac and sesame butter and aaaaaaall of the dips including pomegranate hummus, tomato, capsicum and walnut. This might also be a good time to introduce yourself to your new favourite Turkish snack—the cig kofte.
I think the highlight of my meal was the spiced lamb findik lahmacun (say that one five times) with sumac and red onion salad. Essentially a Turkish pizza, this is as traditional as they come and unlike anything I’ve managed to find in Sydney. I should also mention that we paired our feast with Turkish wine, and each drop was better than the last. Efendy have Sydney’s largest selection of raki so bring on the shots! If you happen to be designated driver, give the homemade lemonade a whirl, and if after arriving you decide to leave the car at home (no judgey eyes here), add some raki to it.
To finish off the savoury portion of our meal, we were then presented with the charcoal board of kings. A juicy Adana style lamb kebap; perfectly marinated chicken thigh fillet; beef and pistachio kofte and lamb shoulder tandir served with a side of grilled vegetables. Yes, just yes.
I’m not a huge fan of desserts, so for me to get all up in your face crazy about a dessert reeeeeeeally means something. So believe me when I say, you must get dessert. A Turkish mess, with the best damn meringue I’ve ever tasted, covered in cream, berries, rose and pistachio is the best way to round out this feast.
Efendy is the kind of place all your mates will love, and a spot you should definitely take your mum. Every meal is finished with complimentary Turkish tea and of course, a big ol’ chunk of Turkish delight flown in from the motherland. You’re sold aren’t you? Thought so.
Looking for more great eats? Head here.
Image credit: Caitlin Hicks