Turkish delights down at the foreshore

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The chargrilled, whole baby snapper… moist and the bulgur rice was beautifully cooked. Photo: Wendy Johnson

“Turkish food is so colourful and exotic. Zeytin’s impressive line-up of dishes includes traditional, all-time faves and intriguing specialty creations,” writes dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON. 

SUCCESSFUL dining precincts offer tasty variety, so it’s great to see a Turkish restaurant opening at the Kingston Foreshore. 

Wendy Johnson.

Zeytin is just across from GoBoat, on Trevillian Quay (this spot has been home to a couple of restaurants recently – we’re keeping our fingers crossed that this establishment will be a winner).

Turkish food is so colourful and exotic. Zeytin’s impressive line-up of dishes includes traditional, all-time faves and intriguing specialty creations. 

The menu kicks off with dips, moves to entrees, then mains and salads. We wanted to share the mains and were told this wasn’t a problem. Indeed, nothing at Zeytin was a problem. 

The chilli dip (only $8 for a generous serve) was fabulous – so colourful on the plate and the chilli slowly made its presence known on the palette. Ingredients included fresh red chilli (not super-hot) and red capsicum, blended with walnut, olive oil, breadcrumbs and fresh herbs. It was a delish introduction to Zeytin’s cuisine, and who doesn’t love Turkish dips with fresh, soft, scrumptious Turkish bread?

Octopus… super tender and not overly chargrilled. Photo: Wendy Johnson

Our group worships octopus, when well done. Zeytin’s looked fabulous and packed a punch on taste. It was super tender and not overly chargrilled ($16). We’ll be back for more.

Kadayif prawns… plump, juicy, sweet and so dramatic looking with crunchy shredded pastry wrapped around each one. Photo: Wendy Johnson

The Kadayif prawns scored a 10-out-of-10 ($15). They were plump, juicy, sweet and so dramatic looking with crunchy shredded pastry wrapped around each one – baked a golden brown. It’s a sign of a good restaurant when staff know that a dish is served with a set number of pieces and your party doesn’t perfectly match that number. In this case, the dish had three prawns. We were a party of four, but Zeytin immediately suggested a fourth prawn so we wouldn’t struggle with sharing.

The chargrilled, whole baby snapper is so worth ordering ($42). The flesh was moist and the taste delicate. The bulgur rice was beautifully cooked. The vegetables overly so for our liking.

The Beyti Kebab… lean lamb mince first grilled on skewers, then the pieces are wrapped in lavash bread with a special sauce drizzled on top.  Photo: Wendy Johnson

Kebabs are one of the most popular dishes in Turkey and Zeytin gets that. The Beyti Kebab ($36) is a great dish to share (massive on its own as a single main, we agreed). The lean lamb mince – flavoured with garlic, chilli and parsley – is first grilled on skewers. Next, the pieces are carefully wrapped in lavash bread with a special sauce drizzled on top. The eight pieces are placed around a round bed of rice sitting in the middle of the plate.

Zeytin occupies a unique spot on the Foreshore – across from the main action which means it’s a bit quieter. The outdoor dining area is inviting and we’ll be back one day, even if just for a glass of wine and some of those gorgeous dips.

Zeytin Turkish Cuisine, 28/6 Trevillian Quay, Kingston Foreshore. Open for dinner, seven days from 5pm. BYO wine only ($8 corkage a bottle).

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Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

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