When I got there last week I was blown away. There’s just so much to love about Stanbuli…
- The nostalgic vintage setting in the 1950’s iconic Marie-Louise Hair Salon that is delightful…..
2. The pizazz, theatre and romance of Portenos that I love… (Not surprising really as Stanbuli partners Joe Valore and Elvis Abrahanowicz, are also co-owners of Porteno, (and Bodega, Continental Deli) and Stanbuli chef Ibrahim Kasif has chefed for Portenos).
3. The flair, style and friendliness of staff…
4. The downstairs Turkish tapas bar styled Meyhane with gorgeous tiling and décor detial. Here you can feel quite comfortable even dining alone. The seat closest to the kitchen is perfect for solo diners – tucked away but with full view of all the action.
5. The upstairs dining room for larger bookings – more formal and elegantly designed by Sarah Doyle. (I do love the atmosphere of the downstairs bar though.)
6. The sharing style of the menu that allows you to order lots of different tastes and textures.
The $65 per person Chef’s Tasting Menu ($75 with two desserts) is great value for large appetites. The kitchen will design the menu around your must haves, but add lots of extras to surprise you, giving you nearly twice as many tastes as ordering a la carte.
7. The food!!! My favourites were the octopus…
Ahtapot – $19, floured and lightly fried octopus, Tarama, Dill and Pistachio Dressing
And the mussels..
Midye Dolma – $3.5 each
Stuffed Mussels; Filled with Fragrant Rice of Black Pepper & All Spice, Made Daily and Served at Room Temperature
The Haloumi dish is also excellent, although it’s better shared between four rather than two as it’s quite rich.
Hellim – $22, Plate of Sheep and Cows Milk Cypriot Style Cheese with Marinated Cucumber & Mint Salad
Dessert, the Rosewater milk pudding, large enough for sharing..
Muhallebi – $15, Rosewater Milk Pudding and Watermelon Granita
Our other orders were also lovely…
Cicek Dolma – $8 each, Crispy Zucchini Flower filled with Spinach, Ricotta, Feta and Hellim on a Roasted Chilli & Walnut Ezme
Ezme Salad $15, finely chopped salad of walnuts, chillies, peppers and tomato with a pomegranate vinegrette – more like a dip, that came with lovely bread
Turkish Peppermint Tea $3
The couple next to us ordered the Raki Mezesri, $20 which was excellent value. It included a fairly large plate of Turkish Cypriot Green Olives, House Cured Pastirma, Pickles, Raw Vegetables, Seasonal Melon and Creamy Turkish Feta.
Next visit I think I’d have to have the octopus and mussels again, but I’d try the Enginar – $16, artichokes poached in their own stock, with broad beans, black-eyed peas and soft herbs and more of the delicious desserts (as it was so hard to choose only one)…perhaps the Tahini Parfait – $15 – Tahini Helva Parfait with Barley, Pomegranates, Almonds & Sesame Seeds.
There’s just a couple of wines sold by the glass but the Ameztoli Txakoli 2015, Getariako Txakolina $14 was a good choice.
And we didn’t even start to explore the meat dishes that looked excellent too – cooked over wood and charcoal. iven my experience at Portenos, I would expect great things from these dishes too.
Specials also change and I’d love to be there to catch the Balik Ekmek ($10), which is the famous, traditional Turkish street food fish (mackerel) sandwich.
Book downstairs at the bar if there’s only two of you (you need more people to book upstairs anyway).
If you’re on your own, ask for the stool closest to the kitchen.
Get the mussels and octopus.
Do leave room for dessert.
135 Enmore Rd, Enmore NSW 2042
Phone:(02) 8624 3132
Wednesday to Sunday 6:00 – 11:00 pm
Monday & Tuesday Closed