Turkish-Australian celebrity chef Somer Sivrioglu's latest food venture opens in Sydney this week. Maydanoz restaurant is opposite Wynyard Park, the hot CBD block bookended by glam eateries Shell House and Bopp & Tone.
"Maydanoz is the Turkish word for parsley," Sivrioglu explains. And while Maydanoz leans heavily on vegetable dishes, there will be one meat dish on its menu, along with about three seafood offerings.
Sivrioglu, who has found fame in his country of birth as a judge on MasterChef Turkey, pioneered Turkish cuisine in Sydney at Efendy restaurant before he and business partner Tarik Koni opened Anason at Barangaroo in 2016.
"When I tell people (in Turkey) that gozleme is the most popular Turkish dish in Australia, they say, 'What!'"
The stuffed flatbreads are something you really only find in little roadside places in Turkey, he says.
And while he isn't ruling out an appearance or reinterpretation of the spinach and feta staple at some stage, Maydanoz's opening menu is rich in classics such as the eggplant dish imam bayildi.
It's a dish the chef says is routinely ruined, the eggplant soaking up oil like a sponge, and not being served correctly (it should be at room temperature).
Sivrioglu will substitute local varieties for the wild green dishes popular in Turkey. "Lots of the Chinese greens are similar, and my approach is we're a local Turkish restaurant in Sydney. So, we find the best available produce here," he says.
He's playing around with the rotating meat dish, but even that might have a vegetable component. One of the trial dishes stuffs meat into a baked potato.
The handsome city restaurant can accommodate 90 diners, and they've included an eight-seat chef's table. Maydanoz opens on Friday.
Open dinner Mon-Sat (lunch to follow from June 1).
50 Carrington Street, Sydney, 02 9262 3161, maydanoz.com.au