Turkish Diner Izgara Is the Newest Addition to the Potts Point Hospitality Boom
The grill sits in the centre of this sleek new 35-seat restaurant, which takes inspiration from ocakbasi restaurants in Istanbul.
July 11, 2022
Bayswater Road has a new edition in the form of Turkish fine diner Izgara. From the team behind Above Par and Malika Bakehouse, the sleek Potts Point eatery arrived in late June with share plates and grilled meat at the heart of its menu.
The restaurant is the handy work of co-owners Efe Topuzlu and Ozgur Sefkatli of Wondrous Entertainment. The pair wanted to emulate the ocakbasi restaurants of Istanbul, where Topuzlu's family ran a similar eatery during his teenage years. Ocakbasi restaurants refer to venues where chefs cook in front of the diners — an intimacy that Izgara has created by placing the kitchen in the centre of the dining room.
Topuzlu and Sefkatli have been working on Izagara over the last year, investing over $1 million into the fit-out for the elegant eatery. With just 35 seats in the venue, diners are provided with an intimate dining experience, elevated by the restaurant's spacious booths, muted tones, red curtains and marble tabletops.
Izgara means grill in Turkish, a fitting name for a venue where the grill is always firing. Meat-lovers can opt for reserved mains like 250-gram scotch fillet or shaved lamb backstrap served in iskender, a regional west-Turkish dish in which the lamb is placed on top of fried pita bites with butter and yoghurt; or let loose with 800 grams of mb3+ rib-eye on the bone for a cool $160.
The real highlights of the menu, however, are found on the Wild, Snacks and Oven Baked sections of the menu. The best way to tackle the meal is to order a selection of plates to share. Once you kick the meal off with oysters or kingfish, top picks from the starters include a creamy smoked eggplant, maras pepper and garlic yoghurt dip; fried zucchini flowers stuffed with harissa ricotta and aged kasar cheese; and the Yamba tiger prawns which are lit up by a flavourful spiced prawn butter. Plus, the fresh gavurdagi salad combining olives, walnuts, tomato and pomegranate is a mush-try addition.
The drinks list is also impressive. Cocktails are short but sweet, with just four options on the menu including a tasty dried apricot sour. The wine list on the other hand, is expansive — reaching from around the country and all over Europe including Turkey. If you're reaching for a bottle to share with the table, it's hard to go past the Doluca from Ankara, Turkey.
It's easy to spot Topuzlu and Sefkatli's addition to Bayswater Road thanks to its bright neon-red sign. The diner adds to the ever-growing list of exciting venues in the once-bustling Potts Point/Kings Cross area. While you won't find the packed streets and booming nightclubs of old, the area has emerged as a hotspot for food and drink. Alongside classics like Ezra and Cho Cho San, Izgara joins Bones Ramen, Parlar, Diana and the revamped Piccolo as new additions to the area.
Izgara is located at Shop 2, 9-15 Bayswater Road, Potts Point. It's open Tuesday–Saturday, 5.30–10pm.
Images: Scott Ehler
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