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Cicek Zucchini Flower and Mantar Mushroom – degustation – Ottoman Cuisine
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We can never resist trying out new restaurants when we’re travelling, so when we had a chance to lunch in Canberra, we picked something exotic. On hindsight, Turkish food isn’t really that exotic when we have suburbs of Brunswick and Coburg with gems like Pinarbasi and Alasya.
While the service was attentive and helpful, we couldn’t help but feel that perhaps they lacked experience.
Food-wise, the presentation and attention to detail was very good, but yet still not overly pretentious. What we felt Ottoman lacked was spices. Having had Turkish food before, the spices were what attracted us. The chargrilled quail at Pinarbasi being a standout with it’s smokey charriness. At Ottoman, the Kulbasti Veal came the closest to matching it. It’s surprising how the simplest looking items taste the best. It was also a nice surpise when the waiter dished it up to use fresh from the grill, half-way through our mains. When asked if it was part of the meal, we were told that it was, and that the chef likes to surprise guests with it for a contrast of flavours. Nice touch 🙂
We also felt that there was a bit too much emphasis on the sweetness in the dishes. My karniyarik eggplant with lamb mince was packed with currants. While the Karides prawn with lemon yoghurt and Salmon and Prawn Dolma, both fried, both doused in their respective sauces, were also on the sweet side.
Julia’s Pilic Chargrilled Spatchcock was moist and tender, but again, slightly lacking in the spice department. The bed of cracked-wheat pilaf was another winner with us for the textural contrast of firm little grains.
The pilaf rice was a stand-out. There’s that simplicity again. The shiny rice slick with a thin coating of a fragrant oil, onion perhaps, was firm to the bite and an absolute treat to eat on it’s own. The Fatush Salata had a good garlic and mint edge to it, but I was expecting the pita bread to be more spongey and less crispy.
Overall, the food was good, but to pay AUD70 for a degustation and AUD31 for a chargrilled spatchcock seemed a bit much, especially when for AUD40 per head at Pinarbasi, you could get dips galore, mounds of spicy and smoky chargrilled meats and belly dancing! Granted, the food was more refined and prepared with more restraint, but perhaps it need to be bolder and more assertive.
Modern Turkish Cuisine
(02) 6273 6111
9 Broughton St (cnr Blackall St)
Barton ACT 2600
Degustation AUD70 per person:
– Degustation Menu
– Olives, Olive Oil and House-made Turkish Bread
– Cicek Zucchini Flower and Mantar Mushroom
– Salmon and Prawn Dolma and Karides with Lemon Yoghurt
– Karniyarik Eggplant stufed with Minced Lamb
– Fatush Salata
– Turkish Pilaf Rice
– Kulbasti Char-grilled Veal with Mustard Sauce – served mid-way through our mains
– Baklava, Pomegranate Ice-Cream, Mastic-flavoured Custard
– Gooey Pomegranate Ice-Cream
– Turkish Coffee
– Turkish Coffee grounds
– Pilic Char-grilled Spatchcock – AUD31
– Turkish Apple Tea – AUD4
– Counter Area
– Main dining area
– Turkish Art
– Water Feature
– Business card
– Turkish Delight for sale
– Private Dining Room
– Turkish Carpet and Wine Rack
– Faux-Moorish Architecture
– Golden Pedestal
– Turkish Mosaic
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