My friend who lives in Bondi told me that this restaurant has been busy since it opened so I have wanted to go for a while. Reason why I couldn't go earlier is that Sefa kitchen offers meze style dishes, which are small dishes served to accompany alcohol. It won't be suitable for a person like me who doesn't drink and eats a lot ( even I ordered all vegetarian dishes from the menu, I would be still hungry because of small portion!) but luckily I wasn't so hungry that night so I thought I can go there for a light meal for some change.
Also Sefa kitchen's menu is influenced by an ancient region called Levantine as well as Moorish cuisine. Levant is the Mediterranean part of the Middle East, covering Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Cyprus and the South East corner of Turkey. Finally my man and I both had a night, feeling like Middle Eastern, which doesn't happen so often! and we are also going to go to Turkey shortly so I thought it is great to have Turkish cuisine a little bit before hand.
lettuce and cucumber crudités with goat cheese $9
I checked the menu and found 8 vegetarian dishes, including simple marinade olives or cheese with spice and honey so we picked 5 dishes that sound most exiting. Unfortunately not good for vegans since most vegetarian dishes contains dairy (cheese and yogurt) except olives and salad. Our first dishes are crudités. Crudités is a piece ofraw vegetables that are served before meal usually with sauce for dipping. Very fresh mini cos lettuce and cucumber that were served with creamy goat cheese for dipping.
Beetroot,bulgar and feta $13
Beetroot were boiled and tossed with olive oil and same goes with burglar. Both burglar and Beetroot was seasoned plainly ( just a little salt and pepper), so I can taste the flavour of each ingredients then feta, parsley and toasted almond add beautiful kicks to them! Fabulous flavour combination! I love the concept of this type of cooking. Bring the best out of the ingredients!
Zucchini, Shanklish and raisins $14
This dish is the same concept of the Beetroot dish. Zucchini was cooked with oil and seasoned with oil, then shanklish, is aged and dried cheese, often crusted with za-atar or thyme and also known as Lebanese and Syrian blue cheese. This crumbly cheese gives beautiful pungent smell and favour and perfect harmony with sweet raison. Love it!
Sefa's garden fattoush $12
Fattoush is my favourite salad. Fattoush is bread salad made from toasted or fried pieces of pita bread and vegetables ( cucumber, tomato, radish and leafy salad) plus herbs.
My first fattoush experience was Lebanese fattoush when I went to Lebanese restaurant with Lebanese co-worker. Since then I always order this lemony crunchy salad with full of parsley flavour. ( I love parsley!)
This salad is bit different from the fattoush that I know. Fattoush is enjoyed by
When I looked it, I noticed the difference straight away. It's dark! I mean using dark colour dressing. Yes, Sumac, the purple powder that gives a tart and acidic flavour definitely give a darker colour but still dark! Then another surprise when I tasted. I was expecting to taste lemony flavour then ... Sweet!
I thought balsamic vinegar reduction and normal vinegar were used but I noticed fruity flavour. It must be pomegranate morases... Then I asked the waitress and she didin't know but she kindly checked with chef. Then I found out the dressing is white Wine vinegar, olive oil and sunflower oil + sumac and pomegranette morases.
Fattuosh is enjoyed at Mediterranean part of the Middle East, covering Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Cyprus and the South East corner of Turkey so this salad isn't Lebanon version. In turkey, pomegranate is used for salad so.
Final difference is the bread. Normally fat bread is used but thin bread that is baked to crispy was used. I love lots of parsley in my fattoush but there wasn't much in this salad.
I must say this is my least favourite dish not just only I really love Lebanon fattoush with lemony and parsley flavour. I do enjoy pomegranate morasses for salad ( I really like pomegranate morasses, olive oil and salt for salad) I simply didn't enjoy the dressing unfortunately.
Crispy Brussels sprouts with almond tarator $16
Tarator is traditional Balkan dish. It can be cold soup (liquid salad) or dip, depend on region. ( ex, In cyprus, it is soup. in Turkey, it is dip ) This almond tarator is more like dip obviously! This is my most favourite dish. Brussels sprouts were perfectly cooked to crispy and flavoured with lemon. They are really go well with creamy and rich almond tarator. Crispy roasted chickpea adds extra texture to the dish, which was great!
Overall,I must say portion is very very small ( well, it's tapas style so I shouldn't complain) so person like me ( eat a lot and can't drink) have to order many. Luckily(?) I wasn't that hungry but we needed order bread twice though....since even bread portion was pretty small...
Even though I felt all dises were pricy for the size but I can tell they use quality ingredients and most dishes are quite interesting so I kind of understand why this restaurant is popular.
Then I was tempted by my man who got sweet tooth... well, I wasn't so full after small dishes so I gave in..
Sundae - ashta booza, cranberries and bran crumble $10
Ashta booze is Lebanese ice cream. Ashta is Lebanese clotted cream with rose water and orange blossom water. Booza means ice cream. I could feel subtle rose and orange blossom. It also has thick and chewy with an elastic texture like Turkish ice cream. Why such elastic texture? Both ice cream use salep, a flour made from the tubers of the orchid genus Orchi. It is like starch. Also Mastic ( plant resin) is used for subtle flavour and texture. Chewy ice-cream with crumble and cranberry. Fabulous combination in taste and texture! Whohate ice cream with crumble???
Sweet tahini, sponge and figs $14
This is absolute my favourite! Cute and yummy!
I couldn't help asking what the fluffy staff is! It's Turkish fairy floss.
Turkish fairy floss
Such a cute decoration! Sweet tahini sauce is like a custard sauce.I bet it is healthier than ordinal custard. I love trifle so really enjoy having sponge cake with custard like sauce.
Fig was huge and generous!
I must say deserts were underpriced unlike savoury dishes!
They are very creative and yummy.
I felt very naughty with huge amount of sugar and dairy but I felt satisfaction with the deserts so it's good! As long as I am happy ( I think my man was happier than me) it's all good!
Address: 292 Bondi Rd, Bondi NSW 2026, Australia