Experience No.055 in Australian Traveller Magazine’s 100 Greatest Australian Gourmet Experiences.
The legend of Canberra dining, Ottoman Cuisine has been a stalwart for foodies visiting our capital in what has been, for the most part, a barren gourmet scene.
Ottoman is a journey into just how fine Turkish flavours and gastronomy can be. The restaurant is set in a grand old government building that sits solidly and proudly in one of the very Canberra squares. It’s very much like a Turkish bazaar, with an enormous dining room and several smaller private dining options in which it’s easy to imagine many lobbyists wining and dining powerbrokers over the years.
The food combines some of the best flavours of traditional Turkish fare and cuisine with more continental Mediterranean and Asian produce. It’s successful because of a sensitive balance between the produce and the many powerful flavours. The Dolma are stuffed with salmon, cray and prawn before being wrapped in their vine leaves, lightly battered then fried and served with a savoury piquant sauce. Prawns are mixed with shitake mushrooms and cavalo nero. A confit of duck with juniper berry jus is another great example of surprising inventiveness. With one chefs hat, dinner at Ottoman is one carpet ride you should definitely take when next you’re in Canberra.
Where: Blackall St, Barton ACT. (02) 6273 6111, www.ottomancuisine.com.au
Did you know: Dolma is from the Turkish and means “to stuff”. The food where the contents are wrapped in vine or cabbage leaves is technically called “sarma”, from the Turkish word “to wrap”, although the distinction has fallen by the wayside and today we refer to all as dolma.