It's all about the tongue bun. Sure, there have been impressive tongue sandwiches in this town before, the one at Monopole not least among them. But it's usually stealth tongue, tongue sliced into fine shavings of unidentifiable mystery meat. Not at Anason. No. Peeking from between the fluffy white folds of a bao, this is very much identifiably a veal tongue, lolling tongue-like amid pickles and purslane. It's a great dish, especially taken with a glass of (Turkish) wine, a cocktail or some Gosset as the sun goes down over the water mere metres away (it's there somewhere, behind the hoardings for the new Barangaroo ferry terminal).
Anason, opened by Somer Sivrioglu from Balmain Turkish eatery Efendy, is the first permanent restaurant to open on Wulugul Walk at Barangaroo. It arrives ahead of new projects from the teams of Bentley and Aria, and is here to stay longer than the pop-ups from Noma and Belle's Hot Chicken. Modelled on the meyhanes, or drinking places, of Turkey, it nonetheless has something of a scant feeling; airy, with just a small shopfront kitchen, most of its seating out in the open, and its restrooms shared with the rest of the complex.
Among the tables stands a little cart hung with simit, Turkey's sesame-crusted answer to the pretzel, seemingly lifted straight from the streets of Istanbul. Served with tarragon labne, the simit make for one of the most appealing of the 20 or so small, mostly seafood- and vegetable-oriented mezes-style dishes on the menu. Little prawns with a festival of colourful tomatoes and kashar cheese in a guvech (traditionally a sort of stew) are less convincing - the prawns themselves are not a highlight. But another strained yoghurt number designed to be served with bread, the atom, with the smokiness of dried marash chillies, is a winner.
Prices (and plate sizes) aren't large, and the staff are mustard-keen, so while the cooking might not be razor-sharp straight out of the gate, there's no reason not to dive in and explore the menu for yourself in more detail. It's summery, seafoody and sweet. All this and tongue buns - get yours today.
Anason, Anadara Building, Wulugul Walk, Barangaroo, NSW, (02) 9188 1581, anason.com.au