Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Efendy, Balmain

I had been planning on treating S to a nice dinner at Harvest for ages, and Christmas Eve seemed like the best time to do it. To my horror, Harvest decided to close that night for their summer break. So I had to quickly find somewhere else local that was a little bit fancy (but not too over the top), with a good amount of vegan food on the menu.

After a lot of research I decided on Efendy in Balmain. As a Turkish restaurant focusing on the mezze style of eating, I was confident I would be well served.

The restaurant is in an old mansion on the top of a hill in Balmain and has a really lovely courtyard out the front. The evening was fairly mild, so we chose to sit outside.

Because it was Christmas we decided to start with a cocktail. This was the first thing I liked about Efendy - their cocktail menu is just a little bit different, with all kinds of exotic & delicious sounding concoctions offered. I chose this Fig Martini - complete with candied fig in the bottom. It was mind-blowingly good.
While enjoying our cocktails I started to feel nervous about the food situation, because the menu only seemed to offer a couple of salads & one main that were vegan-friendly. After talking to the waiter however, we realised that there was a whole range of mezze on offer that weren't listed on the menu. We decided to choose a few things to share.

Including this red lentil mash.
A mung bean salad.
This absolutely divine capsicum-flavoured hommus.
And this plate off the dinner menu, which included a rice & tomato stuffed pepper, a rice-stuffed vine leaf, and a tomato & onion stuffed eggplant.
To help scoop up all the deliciousness we ordered some Pide. This was super tasty & fresh out of the oven - just beautiful. Word of warning though - the Pide dough isn't normally vegan - it's made with yoghurt. Luckily, they had some spare & were able to make a fresh batch for me, but it would probably pay to advise them you are vegan when booking to avoid any disappointment.
The waiter sadly informed me that nothing on the dessert menu was vegan, but I doubt I could have fit anything in anyway. So we decided to enjoy some proper after dinner drinks instead. I chose a Croation Cherry Liquer - yum!

I really enjoyed our dinner at Efendy - the service was spot on, vegan isn't a dirty word and the atmosphere is lovely. Most importantly, the food was delicious - so many amazing flavours, super fresh & obviously prepared with care & attention.

My only criticism (and it's a small one) is the lack of music. It would be really nice to have something traditional playing in the background to really boost the atmosphere.

79 Elliott St (corner of Darling), Balmain
Tue-Fri, Lunch & Dinner; Sat-Sun, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

1 comment:

  1. It's great that you were able to find another restaurant and that they had lots of vegan options, all of the food you had looks delicious!