Turkish favourite Stanbuli to close after six years on Enmore Rd

Stanbuli's last service will be on April 30, owner Ibrahim Kasif has announced.
Stanbuli's last service will be on April 30, owner Ibrahim Kasif has announced. Photo: Cole Bennetts

Enmore restaurant Stanbuli will close its pastel pink door on April 30, marking the end of an era for the popular Turkish meyhane.

Head chef and owner Ibrahim Kasif made the announcement on Instagram at the weekend, saying after six and a half years, "the timing feels right".

"I have decided it's time for Stanbuli to say goodbye," Kasif says. 

Stanbuli's balik ekmek fish sandwich served in a soft bun, with pickled turnips.
Stanbuli's balik ekmek fish sandwich served in a soft bun, with pickled turnips. Photo: Cole Bennetts

"I put my heart and soul into this place, and to represent my cultural heritage was truly an honour. 

"I wanted to represent Turkish food outside the realm of pureed dips and döner. I wanted an eatery that played homage to real Turkish food."

Kasif partnered with Joe Valore, Elvis Abrahanowicz and Sarah Doyle of Surry Hills' Argentinian grill Porteño to bring Stanbuli to the retro facade of Enmore Road's Marie-Louise hair salon in 2015.

He had previously worked as senior chef at Porteño for three years. 

"They were instrumental in helping me realise my dream," Kasif says.

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With Kasif at the helm, the kitchen served up bold, modern meze rooted in tradition. Standouts included the midye dolme, or rice-stuffed mussels, and the grilled, pickled calamari. 

"We championed stuffed mussels, melon and cheese, poached brains, chopped smoky eggplant salads, braised beans served chilled, fried livers and meats cooked over coals," Kasif says.

Chief restaurant critic for The Sydney Morning Herald Terry Durack described the venue as a "winning combination" based on "collaboration, authenticity, good manners, modern attitude", scoring it 15/20.

Two years later it was awarded a hat in The Good Food Guide.

The restaurant will exclusively serve a set menu of its favourite dishes throughout April for $75 per person, for bookings of no more than four people.

Kasif expressed gratitude to his guests, saying he hoped he would be able to see his regulars one last time.

The restaurant will honour larger, pre-existing bookings. The final service will be on Saturday, April 30.