Monday, November 29, 2010

Six tastes of Turkey

Where: Lezzet (79 - 81 Brighton Road, Elwood VIC 3184) 
What: Six course banquet (discount Scoopon deal)
Rating: 14.5/20

My beloved and I couldn't resist a $55, six-course banquet deal at Lezzet in Melbourne's beach side suburb of Elwood. We had never before visited the restaurant, but, as lovers of all Middle Eastern food, are always eager to try new places. Overall, it was a very good experience - the food was generally tasty and for $27.50 per head (including a glass of vino), who can complain? Sans voucher, the venue is priced reasonably, with mains coming in at around the $25 mark. 

The night started on a resounding high - stuffed mushrooms with Danish feta, walnuts and goats cheese. The combination of the lightly whipped cheeses was, put simply, stunning - certainly the highlight of my evening.  

While really not much more than an amuse-bouche, these little fungal creations truly packed a punch in the flavour stakes. 
Before I go any further, I must apologise in advance for my photography of this and other dishes - I was only able to take photos on my phone, so slightly grainy images is the best I could do. 

Course #2 arrived within two minutes of demolishing the mushrooms - a prawn mousse and scallop concoction, wrapped in kadayif pastry. This course was especially creamy and rich, which the strips of crispy fried beetroot complemented very nicely.

The third dish of the evening was a deep fried calamari on a bed of salsa-like salad. This was probably my least favourite dish of the night. As the previous two courses had been so rich and intense in flavour, my stomach just couldn't cope with an encounter with another oily, fried option. In my opinion, the chef would have been better off switching courses three and four...but each to their own. Indeed, my beloved devoured said calamari like there was no tomorrow!

Course #4 really helped cleanse my palate after all that oil - a Wagyu beef carpaccio. My carnivore tendencies always get slightly excited at the prospect of uncooked meat. Does that make me primitive?!? 

The final savoury dish of the evening was a real highlight - slow cooked lamb on the bone. The waiter explained that it had been cooked for 18 hours. Fig and preserved lemon flavours permeated the meat, which literally fell away from the bone upon the slightest touch. The dish was finished with Moghrabieh couscous and roast vegies. 

For my beloved, dessert was the low point of the evening. I think he was disappointed by the dish, which was meant to be "Turkish delight sundae with Vanilla bean Ice-cream, rose & lemon Turkish Delight chunks and coated in roasted pistachio" [Side note: do random capitals annoy you as much as they do I?]. Instead it was more like vanilla ice-cream, with a smattering of nuts, pashmak (Persian fairy floss for the uninitiated) and some sort of berry/jam-like concoction. To be honest, my intense sweet tooth and "dessert stomach" was thrilled to see the ice-cream, but I too would have liked something that resembled a "Turkish Delight chunk".

All in all, a lovely evening out, rounded out by a refreshing peppermint tea. 
Would I go back there again without coupon? I certainly think those mushrooms and lamb deserve a second try - don't you? 

Lezzet Modern Turkish Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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