We love Middle-Eastern cuisine. Apart from Sezar, we hadn't found another fine-dining place serving tantalising Middle-Eastern food until last week.
Yagiz is a modern Turkish restaurant bringing classic Turkish food from the streets of Istanbul to Toorak Road in the fine-dining setting. As you step inside the light-filled cosy, casual bar, you can see a big open space dining room at the back. The polished concrete floors, bare grey brick walls, wooden seatings, brass tables, leather banquettes with colourful cushions created a contemporary ethnic vibe. One certainly will not miss a portrait of Mr Yagiz, the grandfather of chef Murat Ovaz who named the restaurant as a tribute to his grandfather.
The menu offers a 5-course chef selection (Doyumluk). Or a la carte (Alakart) selections from appetisers, entrees to mains. Here are our a la carte selections:
First up, the classic filo cigars filled with duck confit and served with Isot pepper, followed by the fried battered mussels and Tarama. We love the duck cigars, so crispy but not oily at all. The confit duck was tender and packed with the aromas from different spices. The sweet Isot pepper added a little kick to the cigars. The battered mussels were meaty and juicy. The Tamara with Sumac was a perfect dip for the mussels.
My husband is a big fan of lamb shish. He loved the charcoal-grilled lamb shish. It was flavourful and so juicy and tender. The mild heat from the Isot pepper on top and the sweet, sour sensation from the pickles work so well with the lamb. Yum! The crunchy pickled red cabbage salad with carrot, current and spring onions was surprisingly delicious too.
We ordered the grilled Moreton Bay Bugs with seafood risoni as the main course. I love lobsters and prawns, could not resist the meaty, juicy, fresh Moreton Bay Bugs. The scallop risoni cooked perfectly. What a stellar dish of the day?!
The semolina with mastic cream and almond was so creamy. It was a nostalgic sweet treat for my husband. He loved semolina when he was little. As for me, I was totally in love with the silky smooth chocolate pudding topped with a cardamon cake and pistachio ice cream. An impeccable sweet treat you ought to try.
Yagiz offers a selection of Turkish wines from Ankara to Gallipoli and from Europe, New Zealand and Australia. We chose a bottle of 2018 Lokum Bogazkere. Lokum is the first vineyard that brought Bogazkere into Australia. No other Turkish varieties are being grown in Australia. It is a delightful wine with floral, berry aromas and fruity, smooth tannins on the palate.
Yagiz puts new modern twists to the classic Turkish cuisine. Chef Ovaz created an enjoyable and approachable dining experience of sharing his cultural heritage and the love of Turkish food with his guests.
Thanks for reading the review. I hope you will enjoy the delicious food at Yagiz as we did. Bon appetit!
22 Toorak Rd, South Yarra VIC 3141