Restaurant Guide

Tulum: Restaurant review

Make an early booking at Tulum - a small, beautiful modern Turkish restaurant in the unlikely surrounds of grungy Balaclava.

Address

217 Carlisle St
Balaclava, Vic

Hours

Lunch noon - 3pm;
Dinner Tue-Sat 5pm-10.30pm

Prices

E $14-$18
M $29-$35
D $16;
Dégustation $95

A recent renovation has given this modern Turkish diner a textured, moodily lit new look, and further reason to secure a seat. There's appeal in the drinks list, too – a short, sharp collection stacked with Turkish wine, raki and theme-appropriate cocktails (try the Raki Sour garnished with Persian fairy floss) – and in the knowledgeable service from an enthusiastic team. But Coskun Uysal's inventive cooking is the main draw. It's precise, original stuff that puts a clever twist on traditional Turkish cuisine. Sesame seed-topped pide arrives with spicy muhammara (red pepper dip), Tulum cheese, olives anointed with oil and flavoured with coffee, and butter capped with a smear of smoked prune purée. Sardines, grilled to perfection, are topped with slivers of cucumber and a bay-flavoured tartare sauce. Lamb, served raw, is given texture with burghul and subtle heat with Turkish chilli pepper, while desserts include sweet-savoury combinations like tahini ice-cream, cumin caramel and smoked eggplant mousse. Tulum is excellent value, too, making the seven-course dégustation option a good one for those who arrive famished – always a good plan when eating at this small, ground-breaking gem.
Phone:
(03) 9525 9127
Bookings:
Bookings recommended
Features:
  • Licensed
  • Outdoor dining
  • Private room
Accepted card types:
  • Eftpos
  • MasterCard
  • Visa
Chef:
Coskun Uysal
This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.