05 April 2010

Efendy: 'Meze Journey to Istanbul' Food Bloggers Dinner Event, Balmain (4 April 2010)

79 Elliott Street, Balmain NSW 2041

A slice of Istanbul in Balmain

A big thanks to Somer and Asli from Efendy for generously inviting a large group of food bloggers to dine at their restaurant to learn a thing or two about Turkish culture and it's influential cuisine which is so much more than just pide and kebabs. We sampled cold mezes, hot mezes, a main meal and a dessert platter along with a take away goodie bag which included possibly the best Turkish Delight you'll find made in Sydney. I had the opportunity to sample a few of the dishes last week and it was great to try the Midye Dolma this week which had a really nice aromatic rice and is apparently one of the popular street foods you'd find in Istanbul. I again enjoyed the Pachanga Boregi which seemed to be well received by the blogger guests and the acquired taste of the Koc Yumurtasi (Lambs testicles) strongly found the taste buds heart for Gourmet Rabbit and Richard Elliot’s Blog. One of my favourites of the night was again the Kadayifli Karides (Kadayif wrapped Hervey Bay king prawns).

The Kuzu Kuzu trio of lamb dishes included a very interesting Braised lamb neck in traditional wedding soup of yoghurt, trice and chickpeas. Quite a few bloggers seemed to enjoy this one along with the Tandir style Bultarra saltbush lamb shoulder over dried eggplant skin filled with smoky eggplant puree which hit the right taste bud notes for me. I also enjoyed the flavours of the Ahirdagi Salata which used some pomegranate molasses in the dressing. Somer makes his own Walnut Baklava of 42 layers of hand opened thin pastry which is a must if you can fit in some dessert and the Keskul (pistachio, almond, pomengranate pudding) was also well liked.

Thank you to all the food bloggers who were able to make the time in spending their Easter Sunday at Efendy — it was really nice to meet you all. And a special thank you to Somer and Hope in approaching me and giving me the opportunity to help organise and introduce the food bloggers for this event.

Food Bloggers and table guests that attended:
Simon Food Favourites (Simon, Lorraine)
Almond and the hazelnut (Yasmin)
Music Munchies Review (Helen, Jorden)
He Needs Food (John)
Phuoc'n Delicious (Phuoc)
Cookbook Maniac (Amy)
Ohh, Look... (Bel, Will)
Gourmet Rabbit (Denéa)
Pigged-Out (Leona)
Richard Elliot’s Blog (Richard)
• Asli, Omer and Hope

Other visits to Efendy:
4 April 2010 - 'Meze Journery to Istanbul' Food Bloggers Dinner Event
28 March 2010 - Turkish Meze, Apple tea, Baklava, Dana Sarma, Fava, Hamsi Marine, Kadayifli Karides, Kazandibi, Koc Yumurtasi, Kofte, Kuzu Tandir, Milky gullach
Pacanga Boregi, Patlican Salatasi, Pilic Sarma, Saksuka, Yeni Raki
6 March 2010 - Breakfast Meze, Incir Kaygana, Pacanga Boregi, Sucuk, Turkish delight
26 July 2009 - Kiymali, Sucuklu, Omlet, Kaygana

PROS: Authentic and tasty dishes, well presented, nice decor
CONS: Not enough authentic Turkish restaurants in Sydney
MUST TRY: Kadayifli Karides (prawns), Pacanga Boregi, Bultarra saltbush lamb shoulder over dried eggplant skin filled with smoky eggplant puree, Lambs testicles (at least once), Somer's Baklava, Kesbul

Table for 16 setting

Isot (sundried capsicum), Sumac, Nut mix (walnuts, sesame seeds, pistachio crowns), Nar Eksisi (Pomegranate molasses), Olive oil

Turkish bread

Soguk Mezeler – Cold Mezes
Fava: Broad bean paste, onion and dill pate

Hamsi: Black Sea sardines olive oil confit style

Midye Dolma: Tasmanian black mussels, aromatic rice, pinenuts, currant and spices

Sicak Mezeler – Hot Mezes

Pachanga Boregi: Spice-cured, sun-dried beef backstrap, kashar cheese borek

Koc Yumurtasi: Lambs testicles, garlic almond tarator

Kadayifli Karides: Kadayif wrapped Hervey Bay king prawns, walnut, capsicum and roasted garlic muhammara

Ana Yemek – Main Meal
Kuzu Kuzu: A trio of lamb dishes

Kuzu Kuzu: Mini Iskender of Dorper lamb backstrap, jus soaked Turkish bread crouton, Iskender sauce of tomato, capsicum and parika, garlic yoghurt.

Kuzu Kuzu: Braised lamb neck in traditional wedding soup of yoghurt, trice and chickpeas

Kuzu Kuzu: Tandir style Bultarra saltbush lamb shoulder over dried eggplant skin filled with smoky eggplant puree

Ahirdagi Salata: Finely chopped salad of tomato, cucumber, red onion, walnuts, pomegranate molasses

Tatli Tabagi – Dessert Platter
Tatli Tabagi – Kazandibi: Burnet mastic and cinnamon pudding; Baklava: Antep style 42 layers of hand opened thin pastry, walnut; Keskul: Traditional palace recipe of pistachio, almond, pomengranate pudding

Keskul: Traditional palace recipe of pistachio, almond, pomengranate pudding

Baklava: Antep style 42 layers of hand opened thin pastry, walnut

Real Turkish Delight

Efes Turkish beer

Yeni Raki

Turkish tea

Josef Chromy Pinot Noir 2009 Tasmania, Skuttlebutt Sauvignon Semillon 2008 Margaret River

Somer (left) in the kitchen

Food Blogger action shot — heads down, cameras on.

Amy, Phuoc, Leona and Denéa about to try their lambs testicles

A helping hand for Ohh, Look...

Group photo of hosts and food bloggers

Denéa eating/loving her Turkish Delight

Goodie Bag: Apple Tea, Isot sundried capsicum, Pomengranate molasses, Real Turkish Delight

The meaning of Efendy

View Larger Map
Efendy Restaurant | meze bar on Urbanspoon


Kristy Sayer-Jones @ Southern In Law said...

Looks like you all had fun :)
I just got a bottle of the exact same pomegranate molasses sent to me and i'm not sure what i'm going to do with it.

billy @ a table for two said...

Looks like a great night! shame I couldnt go, I will challenge you over lamb testicles anytime! LOL

Helen (grabyourfork) said...

Looks like a fun night had by all. Love the lighting too. Perfect for foodbloggers! Lol.

Phuoc'n Delicious said...

Thanks for the lovely night Simon, definately looking forward to my next visit here. Food was stunning!

Richard Elliot said...

Great review and photos.

I had a great evening - thanks for organising!

pierre said...

Hi Simon?
for me this is just theory as I will practice in live in 2 weeks from now in Istambul !! thanks anyway for the sharing!! Pierre

john@heneedsfood said...

Firstly: thanks for a fab evening!
Secondly: I can't believe you blogged this already! I'll get mine done very soon ;)

Fouad @ The Food Blog said...

Hi Simon
Looks phenomenal. Sorry I didn't make it :( I would have loved to meet the owner

joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

Wow, looks awesome. A shame more people like me couldn't make it.

Sarah Winehouse said...

Looks great Simon! Pity I couldn't make it! Anyway hopefully next time :)

OohLookBel said...

It was a wonderful evening, Simon, thanks for organising. The food was just wonderful, wasn't it, and the folks at Efendy are just lovely and so hospitable.

Myriam @Detours said...

Wow, so much food!!! And so many delicious dishes, I wouldn't know where to begin...

I've never been to Efendy, so this is definitely going on my "to-go list". And while I'm in Balmain, I'll probably stop for a coffee at Little Marionnette and for macarons at Adriano Zumbo's.

Denea said...

Yes, I did pour that bowl of Turkish delight into my mouth.

Thanks for an awesome night!

Mmm...inappropriate lamb anatomy on garlic and toast *nom*

Brenda said...

Lambs testicles?!?!
Everything else I would have tried hahahahaha!

Simon Leong said...

hi kristy, i'm not sure as well what to exactly do with it. i believe it can be used in salads or to marinate meat.

hi billy, hopefully next time you might be free. lamb testicles challenge it is! ;-) although one is usually enough for me.

hi helen, the lighting was a special request :-)

hi phuoc, so glad you had a good time and was great to meet you.

hi richard, thanks so much for showing interest and coming along. i enjoyed reading your review.

hi pierre, i hope to hear all about your food adventures. it's the melting point of so many cuisines. i'd love to visit Turkey one day.

hi john, my pleasure although Efendy need to take all the credit for putting on such a nice spread of food and looking after us. didn't i tell you i don't sleep but just blog hehe :-)

hi fouad, sorry to hear you couldn't make it. hopefully will meet you on another occasion.

hi joey, would have loved for you to be there. hopefully at the next event.

hi sarah, hope to catch up with you at the next event. hope your Easter was filled with plenty of yummy treats.

hi belle, i couldn't agree more with you. Somer and Asli were so hospitable and friendly.

hi myriam, they have a very interesting breakfast i'd recommend too. sounds like a great weekend of eating with little marionnette and zumbo. hope you've got a lot of room in your stomach ;-)

hi denéa, you took at least half of that bowl didn't you hehe thank you for coming along. glad you were available. you're the Queen of Testicles now. sounds so wrong doesn't it :-)

hi brenda, i reckon you would have been OK with it. if you've eaten chicken feet, liver and pate then this is a breeze and tastes better ;-)

permanent hair removal said...

Way to focus and straight to your point, i love it. Keep up the work people. Dontlet anyone stop us bloggers

Simon Food Favourites Map

View Simon Food Favourites in a larger map Key: BLUE - Location visit and review PINK - Simon Favourites and places offering something special

Small Bars in Sydney map

View Small Bars in Sydney in a larger map