Ms Counting her Calories is a big fan of Anthony Bourdain's TV show 'No Reservations'. Last week's episode was set in Berlin, so of course to bookend Swedish Pizza at a Hakka restaurant we went off on Australia Day for lunch at a Turkish restaurant.
After doing a little research we settled on Golden Terrace. First impressions were not positive. From the outside it looked like just another kebab shop. On the inside the front room was closed off, and the backroom dark and gloomy looking. This is often the case where the restaurant is trying to hide a lack of cleanliness or cheap outfitting but as our eyes adjusted the restaurant began to look a little better. Lots of pine, comfy chairs, pictures of Ataturk and Dervish Dancers on the wall and Turkish TV in the background. I even liked the initials which patrons had obviously carved into the tables over a number of years.
The guy taking orders was fairly brusque, almost to the point of rudeness. However, he was efficient and once we ordered the food came out very quickly. Ironman and myself were curious to try the Ayran, a yoghurt based drink to which salt is added. Different to most drinking yoghurts, it was kind of like drinking a thin, natural yoghurt with a pinch of salt (which is probably a fair description of what it is).
Of course we had to sample the mixed dips. The medium sized serve was quite generous, with at least six different types of dip including hommus, cucumber, eggplant and the surprising unanimous favourite carrot.
This was served with a large basket of thick, crusty bread. The bread had been slightly warmed and while not fresh out of the oven had been baked earlier that morning.
First of the mains to arrive was the Iskender. Pieces of lamb cooked crispy on one side, still moist on the other, with a delicious tomato and yoghurt based sauce. Another big hit with the whole table, and it was very generous given, again, we only ordered a medium sized dish to share.
The other main we ordered to share was the mixed grill - kofte, lamb cutlet, lamb and chicken kebabs and some meat off the spit on a bed of rice and served with a small simple salad. While not quite as good as the Iskender the kofte were still moist and the lamb cutlet was delicious (a second would have been good though). The rice and salad did give the impression of being a bit of an after thought, but that is often the case with mixed grills.
If the staff switched on a few more lights and turned that frown upside down this place could be a real find. It's all very simple in style but the dips were good and the meat better. Prices were more than reasonable (more than we could eat for around $50 including drinks). It's located in a bit of a dodgy looking section of Sydney Road but it's a more than acceptable options for a decent meaty feed.
Food - 7.5
Ambience - 6.5
Service - 6
Price - 7.5
805 Sydney Road
Brunswick VIC 3056
Tel: (03) 9386 6729