First look: Stanbuli, Enmore

Elvis Abrahanowicz and Ibrahim Kasif

Elvis Abrahanowicz and Ibrahim Kasif

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country right now: Stanbuli, Enmore.

What's the Turkish word for déjà vu? Fans of the Continental might find Stanbuli, the latest offering from the Porteño family, curiously familiar. Opening barely six weeks after the Newtown deli-diner and just mere minutes up Enmore Road, it has a similar tables-upstairs/bar-downstairs shopfront configuration, and though it's in a former hair salon (the Marie Louise façade is still gloriously intact) and while the accent is very much Turkish, the two venues have much in common. Former Porteño chef Ibrahim Kasif's food, though, is firmly of the East. Small, sweet mussels come with spiced rice stuffed into the meat of the mussel itself, pan-fried mackerel, pickled turnips and a mass of chopped onion makes a handsome sandwich in a soft white roll, and house-cured pastirma fairly drips with spice. Meze, such as thin slices of barely cured scallop with burghul and pomegranate, pop with flavour and freshness, while the grills - ruddy marinated quail, for instance - are distinguished by a practised hand with the charcoal. Noisy, pretty and fun, Stanbuli shows a great deal of promise straight out of the gate.

Stanbuli, 135 Enmore Rd, Enmore, NSW, (02) 8624 3132. Open Wed to Sat 6pm to 11pm, Sun noon to 4pm.

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