9 Broughton Street Barton, Australian Capital Territory 2600
|Opening hours||L Tue-Fri; D Tue-Sat|
|Features||Licensed, BYO, Accepts bookings, Groups, Long lunch, Private dining, Romance-first date, Vegetarian friendly, Wheelchair access|
|Prices||Expensive (mains over $40)|
|Payments||eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard|
|Phone||02 6273 6111|
Ottoman combines opulent surroundings with relaxed and informed service and beautifully unfussy food. Flavours are bold, taking familiar Turkish dishes - dips, kofte, kebabs and the like - and lifting them a notch. Dolma (vine leaves) are transformed with a salmon and prawn filling, fried in a super-light batter. Lamb's liver is a favourite, strong, offaly and with an insistent heat, served simply with parsley and red onion. Spatchcock is like the best barbecued chicken, dark with the grill, lifted with citrus and chilli, and served with spinach and burghul grains. Kingfish skewers are beautifully handled and served with softly braised leeks and carrots - a gorgeous accompaniment. Cardamom ice-cream, with the intriguing stretchy, sticky texture lent by salep (ground orchid bulb), tastes manifestly of spice and orange, and saffron sorbet is almost savoury, making no concessions to popular appeal. With co-owner Gulbahar Kaya managing the floor, Ottoman remains one of Canberra's most reliable performers.