Sunday, 22 February 2015

Yekinköy, Enmore

If you've ever walked from Newtown to Enmore, it's hard not to notice Yekinköy, with its outdoor seating area and the array of smoke coming from the nargiles. My friend passes the restaurant every day on her way to class and the other day she finally bit the bullet and made reservations for a lovely double date evening with us. 

Since there are not many reviews online, when it came to ordering we asked the waitress for some pointers on their most popular dishes and asked her questions on items on the menu that we were unsure of. She seemed a bit dazed and confused but managed to set us up for a little feast - maybe we were the ones confusing her.

Dips with Turkish bread

Four generous sized bowls came to the table on a wooden plank, filled to the brim with various dips. We weren't told what each of them were so it became a guessing game. From left to right we thought the first was a beetroot dip, the second hummus, third tzaziki and we were a bit puzzled by the last one. It's light green as it might've been avocado but the texture is yoghurt-y. All of the dips are quite tasty but the bread to dip ratio wasn't quite right so we had to order a bit more bread in attempt to finish the dips off.

I have completely forgotten what this dish is called but I do remember this was the key dish they recommended. This arrives with the bread and we're already intrigued by it and how it might taste. Lots of ingredients are used here which means flavours hit us from every direction. The lamb is quite gamey in taste but it's soft and not chewy. The addition of yoghurt and parsley cover anything that you might find overpowering. Along with these toppings, beneath the lamb are roasted eggplants that simply melt and fall apart. It's not bad but we all expected to be a little bigger since it was a main.

Apricot rice
Even though it was an accompaniment to the lamb we all managed to get a full mouthfuls and it worked deliciously well. For someone who doesn't like dried fruit, the little jewels of dried apricot and sultanas dispersed throughout the rice really works, as it's unexpected and makes plain rice a little more interesting.

Ocean rolls, $21.00
I wanted to order this because HeNeedsFood made the ocean rolls look heavenly and inviting. However when this was brought out to the table, it looked nothing like what I saw and the menu's description of '"organic shaved pastry” filled with pan-fried calamari, sautéed vegetables and herbs' was definitely lost on me.

I'm a huge fan of calamari (squid, octopus and all those delicious sea creatures) but I was finding it hard to come across any in the ocean rolls. My fellow diners said every bite was overpowered by the flavour of calamari yet they couldn't see actual pieces of it. I'm hoping it wasn't frozen-calamari-rings-defrosting-liquid we were tasting. The pastry isn't flaky and it was much more like bread than any sort of pastry I know. The vegetables inside, mostly tomato, lack in flavour and isn't at all inspiring. I was a bit disappointed with this as it read deliciously on paper.

Cocktail koftas
This was a complete surprise of a dish, a very pleasant surprise. When we were ordering at the beginning of the meal we asked the waitress what would be in it and she told us there would be five small koftas and nothing else. So we were all expecting a small plate with five sad koftas. But in came a big terracotta dish with a lot more than what we were expecting - even a side salad!

The koftas are quite pungent in flavour but the extra extra features that come with it easily mask it. Along with the meat are lots of stewed tomatoes, as well as layers of potato, eggplant and chilli. It's so hearty and very filling - a great sharing dish for several people to dig into. The cucumber, tomato and red onion salad is dressed well with olive oil and parsley - can't go wrong with all those ingredients.

The menu is filled with hearty food and some dishes seem to arrive a little differently (good and bad) to what you read and expect. But it's good fun as it's all about gathering a group of people and sharing a meal together rather than everyone eating off their own plates. It's a nice place to spend an evening chatting amongst friends over food and enjoying the light during the summer evenings. 

480 King Street

8283 1921

Yeniköy Cafe & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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