Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Restaurant Review: Erciyes, Surry Hills

A couple of Saturday's ago I went to Erciyes to celebrate the birthday of two friends. I was expecting a lot of the Turkish restaurant as it's been talked up friends and I've tasted some of their humus before and it's great!

You enter the large dining room via the takeaway section of Erciyes.  It looks like any other kebab shop and not overly promising! However, the restaurant was buzzing with people enjoying themselves when we arrived.

Before I get onto the food I have to mention the belly dancing. There are two 'shows' on Friday and Saturday and we got to see both of them. I've previously had dinner at the Lebanese restaurant, Emed, just down the road. The belly dancing there was a bit of a token effort and I was expecting more of the same. However, at Erciyes they go at it with real gusto! Both performances lasted for about fifteen minutes each. The dancers were good and crowd participation was encouraged. Be warned if you sit near the aisle!

We started with a plate of dips and bread. The dips were fantastic, packing a lot of flavour, a little bit of chilli and were very moorish to eat with the warm bread. I couldn't tell you what all of them were beyond the usual suspects of humus, baba ganoush and a beetroot dip. I'd happily eat many more plates of these dips.

The first main course we ordered was the Tava a lamb caserole with onion, tomato, capsicum, garlic and eggplant. The lamb was nice and tender and the caserole had a rich sauce. Definitely my preferred main of the evening.

Our second main was the mixed grill. A combination of lamb, chicken kofte and lamb cutlets. To be honest I was quite disappointed with the grill, there just wasn't the tenderness of the meat or the lovely smokey flavour that I was expecting.

I admit it's pretty unlikely readers with have been to both places but Meze Mangal (back in the UK) is still my favourite Turkish restaurant. The wood fired oven baking delicious breads and kleftiko, and the charcoal grill cooking kebabs, impart such fantastic smoke and flavour to the food. It's hard to beat the smoke.

409 Cleveland St
Sydney, 2016

Erciyes on Urbanspoon


  1. The bread looks amazing, but you barely mention it. Does it live up to Meze Mengal's offering?

  2. Does anywhere live up to the bread at Meze Mangal?

    Turkish bread in Australia is Sydney is very different to what we are used to in the UK. They are large long flat bread almost like a super sized naan in shape.

    Speaking to a Turkish lady she told me that this bread is traditionally only eaten during the time of Eid, however, for some reason is Oz it took off. What you get at Meze Mangal (more shaped like an Italian foccacia?) is the traditional year round bread.

    The husband of the Turkish lady I spoke to had actually been to Meze Mangal on a visit from Australia to the UK!!!

  3. Just letting you know that the dancer you have pictured in your review of Erciyes is Lisi Hannan ( - she would probably appreciate being credited. Glad you enjoyed it!