If truth be known, this was my first visit to The Streets Of Barangaroo. Yet it wasn't my first visit to the authentic Turkish cooking of Somer Sivrioglu. And it was his cooking that I heard calling.
Anason is not only in a different location, but offers a different style of Turkish food and its serving to Sivrioglu's landmark Balmain restaurant Efendy. Anason is inspired by the meyhane of Istanbul, with sharing mezze. In Turkey I am told the meyhane dishes would all come at once and there wouldn't be different courses. Yet Anason is in Sydney so it's a bit more Aussie in its service. We ate in four rounds. Besides, we wouldn't have fit all the things we wanted to try on one table.
First (after another run in with Sydney buses but that's another story) we settled in with cocktails. Mine a creamy Turkish Espresso Martini, settled me down and whet the appetite. While I was sipping I was gazing at the passers-by, chatting with my friend Nicki, and scanning the menu. "It's so cheap" I said to her. And the anticipated very tasty too as it turned out.
Snacks, such as the soft and comforting warm Saj pita bread, zahter and the artisan cultured Pepe Saya butter start at just three bucks.
The Sesame ring simit has been baked fresh after dipping in pomegranate syrup. That's how the sesame seeds stay on I suppose. It's chewier than the pillowy pita. It's for those that like the ritual of breaking bread. And it sets itself well against the accompanying tarragon labne. That big round ring with the yoghurt cheese is six dollars.
Atom ($12) is a strained yoghurt served marash dried chillies and burnt butter. It is superb with the bread. And the pink salted creamy roe tarama was so good I scraped the last remnants from the glass bowl with a teaspoon. Then I used my finger.
After these four dishes came my favourite of favourites, star of stars. I'm somewhat of a gravalax and smoked salmon aficionado and I know a bit about curing and smoking. Cured salmon pastirma, zucchini, chilli oil ($21) is the bomb! It has incredible texture so I knew it had been dry cured not brined. And a gorgeous sweetness without being cloying. There's complexity and interest. Amazingly the salmon has been dry cured in the expected salt with some sugar but with the addition of carrot. The other amazing part is that it's cured for 36 hours then it is dry hung with cemen for another 18 hours. And I noticed it is freshly sliced to order. This really is an outstanding dish.
My other favourite was also from the sea. Calamari dolma, pistachio, feta, barberries, avo ganush ($28) with its warm molten stuffing oozes into your heart. The tenderest part of the lamb, the backstrap is used in Nicki Girl Star's favourite of the night Lamb fillet, eggplant begendi ($27). She loved it so much I'm not sure I got much of that but I polished my fair share of our big bowl of salad ($19) with its surprising little simit croutons adding crunch to the volumes of different tangy sweet tomatoes and the piquancy of the crumpled feta cheese.
In true mehayne style desserts were shared and both sensational. Sutlac: Burnt rice pudding ($14) is made by soaking the rice in milk and then blending it. There is no thickening like eggs. The delicious silken mix comes with a crumble topping of dried fruits and hazelnuts. Equally as satisfying on the autumn dessert menu is Poached quince, sour apple snow, mascarpone ($15) cooked to perfection, the fruit soft to the spoon while still retaining some firmness, and the pretty picture completed with sour apple snow and mascarpone. Although the Turkish jelly treat would come with our Turkish coffee, we couldn't help but add in one last sweet treat of the house made log.
Although you would expect to order a good few dishes for mezze, these inexpensive share plate wonders are generous and excellent value. It's the perfect spot to sit and graze with friends, and sip some of the lovely Turkish wines on the menu.
Anason, opening in February 2016, was the first permanent venue on Barangaroo's Wulugul Walk, and the restaurant can get busy especially at lunchtime, now that they have already attracted loyal regular customers. So don't miss out on the tasty fun. Come hungry. The best way to get this fabulous casual waterside eatery is to take a stroll along the water's edge from King Street wharf. And work up an appetite on the way so you can sample more of the mezze menu.
For groups of 8 or more, Anason offer a Bosphorous Feast of Saj bread, Atom, Pumpkin humus, Cig kofte, Salmon pastirma, Prawn guvech, Pomegranate chicken, Veal kofte , Medjool dates for $65 per person, or $95 with matched Turkish wines.
|5 / 23 Barangaroo Avenue|
|+61 2 9188 1581|
Mon – Sat 11.30am – 3pm; 5.30pm – 11pm