So I have this group of friends who I do volunteer work with, and we like to go out and eat. One of our most favourite places to go is Erciyes Restaurant on Cleveland Street on the border of Surry Hills and Redfern.
We like this place for a number of reasons:
- The food is plentiful
- The quality is outstanding
- The price is right
- The service is wonderful
- We can be noisy and rambunctious and no one bats an eyelid!
The night starts off with one stuff up. Two of us had booked for our group, so the poor restaurant thinks it has TWO tables of 16 booked for a Tuesday night!
But there we are, just one table, with many bottles of wine (Erciyes is BYO), ready to tuck into the $30 banquet!
First up, salads!
A yummy greek salad sprinkled generously with dried oregano, and a tomato salad with cucumber and onion, with a vinegar dressing. These are quickly seized upon, but we warn our newbies to hold their appetites as there’s sooooo much more coming..
Probably the star attraction for most of us are the amazing dips and fresh turkish bread…
The dips, from top to bottom are:
- cacik (a turkish version of tzatziki)
- baba ghanouj
We dive into these, but again warn our newbies not to fill up on the divine bread as there’s more to come! Just as we say this a range of fresh pides get delivered to the table…on the left, egg, on the right, lamb. Freshly baked and oh so moreish, these pides hit the spot. I am a huge fan of the egg, but also enjoy the spinach which on this occasion we didn’t score…(they bring you random pides as part of the banquet)
I’m already struggling, but know I must go on as there’s still more….
Another one of my particular favourites is the Iskender kebab. This is a kebab, but unlike any you’ve had before. This is the only way to eat a kebab:
Layers of beef, on chopped up turkish bread, smothered in yoghurt, garlic and iskender sauce (the tomato one)…This one gets gobbled up by our end of the table pronto!
Next up, another meat course, a simple mixed grill plate:
I missed out on the tasty mushrooms, but had the spicy rissole and the chicken. The lamb chops, which I’ve had before, are always tender and juicy…
Oh dear…we realise that the other end of the table appear not to have finished their meal…we greedily steal and scoff down their left overs! By this stage, much wine has been drunk, and we start looking forward to delicious turkish coffee to go with the sinful desserts we know are on their way…We don’t have long to wait after our friendly waitstaff clears the masses of plates and glasses…coffee, sweet, viscous, thick turkish coffee…
A mixed plate of desserts includes kadayif (kataifi to the Greeks, Konafa to the Egyptians), baclava and birds nest baclava, coconut and walnut semolina cake, tulumba (the churros looking one soaked in syrup), and pieces of turkish delight.
By this stage I had eaten so much and laughed so hard I needn’t have done all those sit ups I had done that morning! (except to work off the meal!)
I love Erciyes. It’s unpretentious, cheap tasty, and welcoming. Very glad it’s part of my neighbourhood.
409 Cleveland St (Just next door to Blockbuster at the intersection of Cleveland and Crown St)
02 9319 1309