Turkish food is considered an Old World cuisine, with many of its flavours, techniques and ingredients the result of a Turkish empire that once spanned the globe, before New World countries like Australia were even on the map. As such, Turkish cuisine absorbed influence from so many different parts of the Old World – Europe, Asia and even Africa – so that today, defining what exactly it consists of isn’t all that easy. Still, the presence of Turkish cuisine in cities like Melbourne is strong and impossible to ignore and, naturally, Melbourne’s Turkish restaurants are where you’ll find the most pleasing display of this Old World and New World fusion. Time to see what Turkish restaurants in Melbourne have to offer…
Anyone who’s spent even the shortest amount of time in Melbourne will know it as the food capital of Australia – due to a certain mentality of its chefs when it comes to experimenting and a certain willingness of its people to try new, often unknown dishes – which makes it the ideal hive for restaurants to become a success. Truth be told, Melbourne doesn’t have Turkish restaurants on absolutely every street like it does Thai or Italian restaurants for example, but the ones it does have are blossoming flowers that show off the very best colours, smells and flavours that the vibrant and utterly diverse Turkish kitchen has to offer. Put simply, Turkish restaurants in Melbourne are as authentic as you’ll find anywhere on the continent.
Well, we mentioned that Turkish cuisine has, over the many, many years since its inception, been influenced by quite a few things, so naturally the ingredients it uses are varied. Turkish restaurants in Melbourne will make equal use of meat as well as veg, and you’ll often find that dishes are built around one particular thing. A lamb chop may take centre stage, sliced zucchini may be the name at the top of the bill, or delicate kofte may be the main attraction, but whichever way your dish is inclined, the point is that you can expect big flavours that are honest and unashamed. Of course, this isn’t to say the Turkish kitchen is boring. Quite the opposite, in fact, as any plate at any Turkish restaurant in Melbourne will be loaded with more fresh salad more zesty sauces than you care to shake a stick at.
Now we know a little about how the Turkish kitchen rolls and we know that in Melbourne there are Turkish restaurants serving the food right, so what can you expect to find on a Turkish menu? Well, have no fears because Turkish restaurants in Melbourne do the classics damn well. Mantı is a popular and very traditional option that is essentially small beef or lamb dumplings that are boiled or fried and served with yogurt or butter. As well, baklalı enginar is peeled artichokes dressed in oil and lemon juice and served cold with beans and fresh parsley – perfect for summer – while pide, or Turkish pizza, is fantastic if you’re after something a little heavier. It’s a boat-shaped flatbread that goes big on spinach, minced meat and cheese and you’ll find it at most of Melbourne’s Turkish restaurants.
And now it’s time to get reserving, folks, but before you do, know that Turks and indeed the Turkish restaurants of Melbourne like to get sticky with it. By that, we of course mean baklava. Baklava is what comes to mind when most think of Turkish desserts and, essentially, baklava is a little parcel of filo pastry filled with sugar and crushed nuts and doused in honey, syrup or both. Served with a coffee, be sure to have hanky to hand when you enjoy this pair – you’ll likely need to wipe some drool from your chin. Browse Quandoo to find the Melbourne Turkish restaurant that suits you best, then get excited about the sugar hit that awaits you.