Somer Sivrioglu pioneers the vegetarian kebap in his new Tombik restaurant

Former Efendy owner Somer Sivrioglu's new project Tombik opens at Barangaroo.
Former Efendy owner Somer Sivrioglu's new project Tombik opens at Barangaroo. Photo: Steve Woodburn

If you dream of greasy, meaty late-night doner kebaps (kebabs), look away now. A new player has arrived into Sydney: the cabbage kebap.

Tombik – which borrows its name from the puffy bread made in a wood-fire oven – opens this week at Barangaroo, the latest arrival from the Turkish food new wave hitting Sydney. 

Co-owner Somer Sivrioglu and group head chef Arman Uz have been making last-minute adjustments to the cabbage kebap via Zoom (it'll be on the menu in a fortnight).

Spread with doner served iskender style with bread, falafel and dips.
Spread with doner served iskender style with bread, falafel and dips. Photo: Steve Woodburn

"We really wanted the vegetarian (offering) to be strong," Sivrioglu tells us from Istanbul, where he spends half the year as co-host of MasterChef Turkey.

"We tried putting the cabbage leaves on the skewer but found the best way was to put the skewer right down the middle of the cabbage. We use a different marinade (than for meat). We're still playing around but will probably serve it with tahini and chilli."

Tombik is the latest venture from Sivrioglu and his business partner, Tarik Koni. The duo recently opened Maydanoz in the Sydney CBD and are scouting sites to reopen Efendy next year.

Arman Uz, group executive chef, Efendy Group.
Arman Uz, group executive chef, Efendy Group. Photo: Steve Woodburn

Meat-eating doner kebap fans fear not, the kitchen has trialled everything from Rangers Valley wagyu to lamb belly in their search for the perfect meat slab to hit the vertical rotisserie.

Quality is a bugbear for Sivrioglu, who laments the number of local kebap shops who get their meat ready-prepared in a factory.

"We do it ourselves; we've had some Turkish people try it who have been really complimentary," he says.

The smart interior is also a step up for the genre. Tombik is a bar where you can sip on a Young Henrys, a Bomonti malt beer from Turkey, or shalgam (pickled turnip and chilli juice).

Open daily lunch and dinner.

Tower One, 100 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo, tombik.com.au