Kitchen Tip – Grilling eggplant
Whether it’s for dips, or as a sauce base, even a puree beside meat, eggplant is the mainstay of Turkish cooking. It’s a great way to bring a smokey flavour and just a little of Turkey into your dishes.
Take the whole eggplant and place it directly onto the gas stove. Turning it after about 3 minutes, to cook the other side. the skin will blister and blacken – but the inside will now be beautifully cooked with a deep smokey infusion. Now simply slice it in half and scoop out the flesh. Be careful as the outside remains hot. Discard the skin and you are set.
I’m always thinking seasonally – using the freshest ingredients means working with mother nature. In winter that means potatoes, fennel, carrots, mushrooms and spinach – the makings of wonderful comfort food. My favourite is a modern take on mushroom soup with exotic truffle oil. Just take mushroom caps, parsley stems and brown onion and sauté until caramelized. Add water or stock, seasoning and puree – finishing with a little truffle oil to taste. When you dine in at Lezzet this is our special complimentary starter !
The popularity of private dining is driven by a new found desire for privacy and a sense of occasion spent with our closest friends and it’s not just for celebratory occasions. This modern phenomenon is about a need for feel -good activities. With this in mind our ‘Ottoman Room’ was born. It ticks all the boxes for small through to larger gatherings.
I really feel that when you’re all seated at the same table and the whole place is yours there’s a sense of involvement, community and belonging – all with our usual Turkish village atmosphere of casual warmth. The Ottoman Room is a unique and stand-out dining experience of which lasting memories are made.
The Socceroos make it to the 2014 World Cup
I never doubted them…really. The Socceroos beat Iraq 1-0 to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. It was tense and, with the Iraqi’s being well under strength, not their greatest game – but they made it and we’ll all be cheering them on next year.
Now there’s the wait to see if Turkey makes it through the qualifying rounds. It’s been 11 years since they last qualified in 2002 – and we’d love to see them stare down the Socceroos, however torn we’d be.
Let us know your experiences with the smokey eggplant tip, the truffled soup, thoughts on private dining or the Socceroos below – and we’ll look forward to seeing, and serving you, soon.