I’ve been to Gigibabas before and loved it. So I was expecting great things the second (or maybe third?) time around.
And, boy, they did not disappoint!
First off, having a Turkish heritage and a mum who would give any Chef Hat restaurant chef a run for their money, I am very hard to impress when it comes to Turkish food.
The simplicity in which Gigibabas prepares and presents their dishes is the key to their amazing flavours. Smoked eggplant dip – which they call ‘babaghanouj’ is understated but hits you with that charcoaly, smoky eggplant flavour that is addictive. Although the bread it was served with could have a little fresher, it was still a creamy, flavoursome delight!
Now – before I go on – a quick gripe – Gigibabas is a Turkish restaurant, with a Turkish chef and eggplant dip is traditionally a Turkish dish… You’re with me still right?
Then WHY does it insist on calling “patlican” dip, babaghanouj? It’s not a Turkish name? Are they just pandering to the common theme? I suspect so – very disappointing. But, hey if that’s the only negative I got out of this visit, then I’m sure they’ll take it!
Eggplant salad with pomegranate - creamy, sweet and sour – awesome juxtapositioning of flavours.
Lamb cutlets and ribs - cooked to perfection with basic seasoning of salt and oregano. Melt in your mouth morsels of tender lamb.
Hellim cheese – the Cypriot-Turkish version of saganaki, deliciously crispy on the outside, warm and gooey on the inside.
Octopus Salad – Zesty, soft soft soft and tender octopus. The combination of the dressing, salad and octopus was divine, a taste-bud-caressing dish!
On the whole – a superb experience and excellent european wine selection!
121 Grattan St, Carlton.
Right, so we’re dining only metres away from a university, I expected that the standard of food wouldn’t be very high, given it’s so cheap and aimed at the student market. However, I did expect that food hygiene standards would be met. But before I go there, let me describe my hideously tasteless heap of bland, flavourless bowl of fried calamari.
It came lumped on a plate with greasy coating, no garnish, no flavour, no colour. I could taste the stale, recycled oil – and that was about the only flavour it had. As I begrudgingly put a forkful into my mouth, I noticed an unsightly black hair dangling from the greasy, stale piece of calamari.
I can stand no flavour, and to a degree I can even just grimace and bear the taste of stale recycled oil. But a hair follicle, freshly fallen from the grace of the cook’s dandruffed head – no. The line must be drawn somewhere.
Though I must say the even bigger disappointment was my fiance tipping them a few dollars once he paid the the bill for food we did not eat. His justification: “I felt sorry for them”.
So we had KFC instead. Told you our standards weren’t high…
Gotta start somewhere right? Safe bet…
– unsurprisingly aaa.mahz.ing!
- Beef Tataki with garlic chips – thinly sliced rare beef, juicy and bursting with zesty flavour, drizzled with ‘barely there’ dressing and topped with the most amazing tiny chips made from a garlic clove – they were so crunchy and flavoursome – but not overpowering, despite the fact that they are just fried bits of garlic. Plain, simple but just a WOW.
Speaking of plain and simple, try the Smoked Brussel Sprouts – now, I know what you’re thinking… Dull, boring vegetable, how can you dress it up or possibly even justify paying Nobu prices for what is possibly the most despised little green bulb out there? Well let me just give you a little entree-sized rave…
Served in a steam pot with an iron lid, these melt-in-your mouth sprouts are deliciously packed with juices and the most DEVINE smokey, buttery flavour – you could eat them on their own – kudos to the chef for creating such an experience out of the humble brussel sprout!
And for those who like to take pictures of their food and share with the friends on facebook (yes, I’m talking to all 6 billion of you), make sure you order the chocolate pudding for dessert. Served in a funky bento box, it comes complete with green tea ice-cream (not so amazing) AND sprinkled with a dusting of real gold flakes. Yep, snap and upload. Come on, you know you will!
That’s all for now!
Ok, I’ll be upfront and honest from the get go. So I may not be able to cook that well - that’s not to say that I don’t enjoy good food, sweets and coffee.
Now that we have the disclaimer out of the way, I’m ready to share my thoughts on some of the places I’ve had the (dis)pleasure of dining at.
I’ll start with a few of the hits first and as I build some confidence, I’ll venture into the misses…
Actually – scrap that! Hits and misses all in one gloriously honest dollop.
Serving it up soon!