In this week’s call out for Canberra’s best Turkish, votes came in for Turkish restaurants from across the Canberra region. Some notable mentions go out to Turkish Pide House in Woden, Little Istanbul in Tuggeranong and Fig & Olive in Chisholm who all got more than a few votes.
However, the leaders of the pack this week were Ottoman in Barton and Turkish Halal Pide House in Yarralumla, who raked in the votes and were the most popular by far.
Friday night is date night, so my partner and I made a booking for Ottoman on Broughton Street in Barton. We’d never been there before, but had heard great things about the food. Being one of Canberra’s one-hatted restaurants, it’s a little more on the fancy side, but the servings were a good size and while the prices weren’t cheap, they weren’t ridiculous either.
The food at Ottoman definitely didn’t disappoint – my pick of the night was the “cicek dolma”, crispy zucchini flowers filled with goat’s feta and halloumi cheese. They had that perfect oozey cheese thing going on, which is my absolute favourite. We also tried the stuffed capsicums, the Turkish-style ravioli and the lamb kofte. And just because we hadn’t eaten enough food, we finished with the chef’s selection of dessert to share, it was heaven.
In contrast to our fancy dinner at Ottoman, an enormous takeaway feast seemed more fitting for Turkish Halal Pide House at the Yarralumla shops. Not really the kind of place you’d go for a nice sit down meal, this place is instead well known for their giant meaty kebabs. When we arrived to pick up our order, the place was packed and, unsurprisingly, the kebab line was way out the door.
I’ve enjoyed many a giant kebab from Turkish Halal Pide House before, but this was the first time I was branching out into other elements of their menu. Our feast featured a delicious spinach and feta pide, some kabak, falafel and kofte, as well as salad, rice and vegetables. Of course, we finished with some heavenly baklava. Turkish Halal Pide House is all about good, hearty, down-to-earth Turkish food that tastes delicious and fills you right up.
Crowning a winner for this week’s Taste Off has not been an easy task. Both Ottoman and Turkish Halal Pide House make delicious Turkish food, but couldn’t be more different in every other way. Ottoman is a one-hatted fine dining restaurant, while Turkish Halal Pide House is well known for serving up giant kebabs to hungry punters.
It’s like comparing apples with oranges to decide who makes Canberra’s best Turkish. So based only on its stand out dish of crispy zucchini flowers, I am awarding Ottoman the crown for Canberra’s best Turkish food.