Lezzet – Delectable Dining

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By Jessica Williams

Follow her food adventures on Instagram: @jsallgoodthings

 

Turkish cuisine. Melbourne has an abundance of Chinese, Vietnamese, Greek, and in recent times, American BBQ restaurants. But how many Turkish eateries can you name?

Lucky for me, I can not only name one, I can direct you to a great one. It’s called Lezzet. You can find it at 81 Brighton Road, Elwood. It has been in operation for twelve years, and it seems the full house of people dining there the same night as myself, are keeping this Turkish treasure all to themselves.

The dimly lit, warm venue buzzes with happy people enjoying succulent meats, fresh salads, wood fired pizzas and local seafood. The prices are reasonable, the portions are generous, the restaurant is cozy, and the meat is slow cooked, tender and falling off the bone. What more could you ask for?

The Head Chef and Owner is Kemal Barut. As I serenaded him for his Turkish Delight Sundae dessert towards the end of the night, he explained that his last name means “gun powder” in Turkish – “well the menu certainly goes off with a bang,” I quipped. The pun may be bad, but the food is incredible.

Start your evening with a Mezze Platter from just $13.00 a person (Min 2 people): Victorian mussels with creamy garlic sauce, a prawn and scallop mousse wrapped in kadayif pastry, braised lamb ribs with sticky honey and sumac that pulls easily off the bone, a cabbage and caper salad and a truffled mushroom corba – a type of soup.

Other moreish entrees include Manti ($15.50), which are superbly sweet crab dumplings with a creamy pinot gris reduction paired with burnt paprika butter foam, and Zucchini Fritters ($14.50)- served in crisp lettuce cups.

Mantar ($13.50) is oven-baked stuffed button mushrooms with goats cheese, semi dried tomato, olive, parsley and pistachio. Each and every ingredient is fresh and full flavoured, so it doesn’t surprise me to learn that Barut and his team regularly frequent the local market for their produce.

Before moving on to mains, cleanse the palate between courses with an Ayran ($4.50), a traditional Turkish yoghurt drink that tastes like natural yoghurt mixed in with a touch of salt.

The dishes and flavour combinations definitely exceed my expectations; I was also pleased with the amount of fresh dishes and salads as a potential lighter option. But don’t skip the meat; my favourite being the 18-hour slow cooked Anatolian Lamb ($30.50). It’s a signature Lezzet dish, anddrizzled with date jus and served on a bed of cous cous, was the perfect accompaniment to my 2013 Mt Langi Shiraz.

Tasmanian Salmon ($29.50) is wrapped in vine leaves and served with a date mousse as soft as cupcake icing, and almost as sweet. A champagne reduction cuts through that sweetness and balances the excellent and unique dish.

Haloumi chips I can take or leave, but it’s a small blotch on an utterly delectable evening

Then finishing the evening off in extravagant and decedent style, the Lezzet Sundae cannot be bypassed. Think double cream, pistachio, mixed berry coulis, Persian fairy floss and chewy lumps of Turkish delight. A pure marvel.

With the cold weather now well upon us, take the opportunity to indulge in some heart warming Turkish food at Lezzet.

 

Lezzet

81 Brighton Road, Elwood

Opening Hours:

Mon-reservation only

Tues-Sun 5:30pm till 10pm

Sat-Sun 10:30 till 3pm, 5:30pm till 10pm

Ph: 9531 7733

www.lezzet.com.au

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