Best fine dining: The Ottoman
This one-hatted Canberra institution has been serving pollies the likes of char-grilled kingfish and bay-leaf skewers since 1992. It might be the only Turkish restaurant in Australia storing Penfolds Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace its cellar.
9 Broughton Street, Barton, Canberra, 02 6273 6111
Best Anatolian adventures: Efendy
Owner and chef Somer Siviroglu is a bloke who knows how to provide hospitality. Dinner at Efendy is always a top-notch, belt-loosening good time, especially when the Anatolian feast is ordered featuring a slow-cooked lamb shoulder with smoked oregano.
79 Elliott Street Balmain, Sydney, 02 9810 5466
Best modern Turkish / Middle Eastern: Sefa Kitchen
The bare-bricked, unassuming interior of this cosy Bondi brunch favourite could have you thinking that Sefa is any old ho-hum cafe. All that changes when ex-Rockpool chef Simon Zalloua's food hits the table. It's bold, exciting and utterly delicious. We love the chicken livers with molasses and sumac onions.
292 Bondi Road, Bondi, Sydney, 02 8068 6461
Best for oven-baked kebabs: Pazar Food Collective
Fusion food is rarely a good idea, but when Attila Yilmaz garaged his Al Carbon food truck to try the bricks-and-mortar thing on Canterbury Road with a Mexican-Turkish crossover, western Sydney rejoiced. Smoked, wood-fired lamb with a side of Mexican pickles? Oh, yeah.
325 Canterbury Road, Canterbury, Sydney, 02 8964 9334
Best for Turkish delight: Real Turkish Delight
RTD has been an acronym for this sweet shop since it opened 1974. Its famous, natural, rose-flavoured Turkish Delight is stocked at David Jones food these days, but a trip to the original store is a must so you have the chance to explore Auburn's countless other wonders of Turkish cuisine, too.
Shop 1, 3-5 Station Road, Auburn, Sydney, 02 9649 9787
Best Turkish breakfast: Lezzet
Bow down to Turkish breakfast: a buffet of tasty freshness on a plate. They do an upscale version at Elwood's Lezzet: olives, sucuk (spiced air-dried sausage), haloumi, fetta, jam, menemen (Turkish-style scrambled eggs with tomato), pastry and Turkish bread for sharing at $15.50 a head. Weekends only.
77-81 Brighton Road, Elwood, Melbourne, 03 9531 7733
Best Turkish-style pizza: Moor's Head
The Moor's Head now sells its foot-long rectangular slabs of wood-fired pizza on both sides of the river and Hepburn Springs too. They amp up the fresh, sharp and bitter elements. It might be a triple hit of cheese balanced by oregano, soused onions and fresh mint, or spiced lamb sausage (ma'anek), with black olives, feta and peppers.
Rear 774 High Street, Thornbury. Melbourne 03 9484 0173
Best gozleme: Goz City
It takes mastery to roll the yufka pastry to its requisite paper thinness, but maintain the integrity required for filling it with the beef mince or spinach and feta before throwing onto the hot plate. The ladies in charge at Goz City have those skills, honed from years of working market stalls.
502 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, 03 9041 5667
Best Turkish feast: Koy Restaurant
It's a ridiculous $35 a head for Koy's seven-course banquet, held on the last Wednesday of the month featuring the usual mezze (dips, kofte and the usual suspects) and new dishes the chef is experimenting with.
98/116-136 Cecil Street, South Melbourne, 03 9696 9640
Best for Uyghur Dolan: Uyghur Food Heaven
It's Turkish-Chinese food from the Xiangjing region on the border: noodles stir-fried with cumin-y lamb, or mince served with egg breads – like crepes for making wraps. They also braise then fry a whole lamb here, if you book ahead and have 20 pals.
166 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, 03 9041 8802