Mid­dle Eastern din­ing as­cends to a new level in Bal­a­clava.

Time Out (Melbourne) - - FOOD AWARDS 2017 - By Larissa Dubecki

THE WORLD’S MOST live­able city is duty bound to come up with the ca­sual din­ing goods, and once again it has de­liv­ered. Tu­lum, Ca­mus, Os­te­ria Ilaria, Ram­blr and Bang Bang at the Ri­fle Club of­fer a snap­shot of the way we like to eat, 2017-style. They’re dif­fer­ent but united by the core val­ues of de­liv­er­ing a heap of in­ter­est at a price point that won’t lead to a scold­ing from your ac­coun­tant. Our win­ner, the mod­ern Turk­ish de­light Tu­lum, is equal parts restau­rant and re­minder of what the clas­sic ca­sual brief re­ally en­tails. To wit: Tu­lum is ca­sual with­out los­ing its sense of oc­ca­sion. Sure, you can roll in with a friend for a glass of some­thing in­ter­est­ing and pos­si­bly Ana­to­lian (we can hope to see more in that depart­ment) and at­tack the lower reaches of the menu with gusto with­out be­ing sub­jected to wait­ers sulk­ing that you didn’t sign up for an eight-course de­gus­ta­tion. You can also book, which is a sen­tence we’re over­joyed to print. It is, in short, a clas­sic chef-owner restau­rant that lets you roll which­ever way you want. You’d be a fool not to book­end the meal with the cil­bir, a starter with the dial set to com­fort with a sweet­savoury combo of smoked yo­ghurt, brown but­ter crum­ble, poached egg and salty shard of chicken skin. You’d be a big­ger fool to end it with­out the di­ges­tif-in-food-form known as sut­lac, a warm rice pud­ding. And in between, Coskun Uysal’s mod­ern Turk­ish menu is just wait­ing to be ex­plored, which­ever way you like. 217 Carlisle St, Bal­a­clava 3183. 03 9525 9127. tu­lum­restau­rant.com.au.

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