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Efendy, Balmain

by Nouha Elmasri (follow)
Journalism graduate, die-hard foodie and aspiring writer.
Lunch (31)      Breakfast (21)      Dinner (18)      Brunch (2)      Turkish (1)     
Smashed avocado on toasted sourdough, eggs Benedict, and açaí bowls are served by the hundreds in cafés across Sydney every morning, and while these breakfast staples are undoubtedly tasty, they're hardly revolutionary. If you're after an unparallelled brekkie experience and are happy to while away a cool few hours on a Sunday morning eating, you've got to venture out to Balmain.

Efendy resides within this beautifully renovated terrace house in trendy Balmain.

Tucked away at the end of Darling Street, in a beautiful Victorian terrace house is Efendy, a Turkish restaurant with a twist. Gozleme, kebabs and pides are no where to be seen at this modern Turkish eatery, instead you're met with a menu of refined Turkish dishes that couple the best of the Mediterranean's bright, zingy flavours with a hit of traditional Turkish culture.

Over 30 individual dishes make up this breakfast feast.

While open for lunch and dinner, it's the languorous brunches that set Efendy apart.

Big, bold and beautiful.

Served on an enormous wooden slab, and available only on weekends, Efendy's breakfast banquet ($30 per person) is a feast for the senses. The banquet includes over 30 Turkish delicacies - from baked goods to jams, cheeses and sweets, all of which are made specifically for the restaurant in the traditional Turkish way, utilising the best of seasonal produce.

As is traditional across the Middle East and Mediterranean, breakfast rarely comprises a hurried coffee and a bowl of soggy Weet-Bix, and is instead seen as a leisurely meal of many tastes, textures and aromas that is really more of an event than a meal.

Sweet and sticky - Efendy's jams are all homemade and use the best of the seasonal fruit available.

Spend a lazy few hours chatting away while sipping on unlimited glasses of Turkish apple tea and traditional coffee. Graze on mouthfuls of salty cheese and sweet watermelon and tear chunks of still warm bread and dip into an array of glistening multi-hued jams.

Scrambled eggs - the Turkish way.

Pastries brimming with cured meats and cheese, spicy scrambled eggs and smoky sujuk sausage, as well as fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and an array of enormous, fleshy olives, complete what is considered a pretty standard breakfast in the east Turkish province of Van, from where Efendy owner and chef Somer Sivrioglu hails.

Bottomless glasses of sweet apple tea and bitter Turkish coffee.

Wear loose pants and bring with you good company because everything about Efendy's breakfast meze, from the seasonal jams and fruits to the freshly made bread and pastries, is of the highest quality and definitely worth savouring. Service, while minimal, is relaxed, polite and efficient, with glasses of sweet apple tea never left empty for long.

Rating: 9/10

Where: 79 Elliot Street, Balmain, 2041
Cost: Brunch $30 per person. Lunch and dinner meze plates from $8 -$29
When: Brunch Saturday and Sunday from 9am - 2pm. Lunch Friday to Sunday. Dinner Tuesday to Sunday.
Good for kids: Yes.
Take away: No.

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