135 ENMORE RD, ENMORE; 8624 3132 STANBULI.COM.AU
The vision of chef Ibrahim Kasif – and backed by the Porteño Group – Stanbuli is inspired by traditional Turkish taverns, meyhane, and delivered in a contemporary Australian aesthetic.
From the kitsch purple and pink ‘Marie-Louise’ ’50s hair salon façade through to the smart, energetic downstairs bar and lively bistro-style dining room upstairs, the fit-out is beautiful, but not overstated.
Broken into sections, the menu starts with small ‘raki mezesi’, medium ‘meze’ and finally large ‘charcoal’ and main dishes all inspired by Istanbul street food. Although you can’t really go wrong, there are two things that you must always order when they are available – mussels stuffed with fragrant rice, and the blue mackerel sandwich, a housemade bun with lettuce, pickled turnips and, of course, grilled fish.
Stanbuli continues to be one of our best by over-delivering on their promise of a good time in the style of Istanbul’s buzzy meyhane culture.
■ Must-eat dish Fish sandwich
■ Cuisine Turkish
■ Chef Ibrahim Kasif
■ Price $$$
■ Bookings Yes
■ Open Dinner Wed-Sun
■ Instagram @stanbulirestaurant