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Sydney Precincts

July 1, 2017 Destination Feature, Headline News No Comments Email Email

Sydney seems to be sprouting new restaurant precincts at a rate that even a healthy population growth couldn’t possibly sustain. Yet not only are spaces quickly leased but in no time they seem filled to the brim with paying customers seeking fresh experiences.

A couple of years ago, it was Chippendale setting Sydney agog, led by the arty Central Park redevelopment of what used to be the massive Tooths Kensington Brewery.

Then came Barangaroo, in the old Hungry Mile area of Sydney’s once-bustling dockland and a natural continuation of Darling Harbour and King St Wharf.

The latest seems to be the Tramsheds at Harold Park, where trotters and pacers (yes, there is quite a distinct difference in their running styles) have been replaced by high-density residential development, restaurants and coffee shops.

A great opening salvo at Anason … dips plus fresh bread.

And there are no doubt other new venues and areas awaiting discovery.

I’ve only had the chance for a cursory look at the Tramsheds and a quick coffee there, but venues such as Garçon, Bodega 1904, and Butcher and the Farmer seem to have hit the ground running.

My first visit to the new-look Barangaroo was about a year ago, when Anason was the only restaurant yet open in a massive wharf redevelopment known as the Wulugul Walk.

This new venture by chef Somer Sivrioglu, renowned for his work at Balmain’s Efendy, was a real eye-opener, or should I say palate-awakener.

Anason’s piece de resistance … half a lamb shoulder.

Sure, the Turkish food that Somer presented was very much dependent on what he’d been taught by his grandmother but he’d reimagined the dishes and given them a very modern twist.

I returned a couple of weeks ago for lunch to try the restaurant’s Vivid Feast and was treated to a flurry of spectacular food accompanied by several glasses of Turkish wine.

Now, please don’t scoff or roll your eyes. Modern Turkish wines are well made and have excellent flavours. They certainly go well with Somer’s delicious food.

The great discovery on this particular journey was okuzgozu, a red grape native to the Anatolian plateau. The name translates, literally, as ‘ox eye’, a reference to the largish size and fleshiness of the berries.

Butcher and the Farmer … a produce-driven restaurant in the new Harold Park Tramsheds.

This example, a 2013 vintage from the Vinkara winery, was an excellent medium-bodied dry red with good floral/berry fruit and pleasing tannin and acid — very easy drinking indeed.

And a feast Anason did produce. Even in its scaled-down version it proved too much for this humble appetite, no matter how hard it tried.

I’ll blame the opening salvo of a couple of a couple of dips — a hummus with beef pastirma and wild cucumber, and a labne yoghurt served with curly sweet peppers and marash chillies, accompanied by fresh bread and oil. I unashamedly didn’t hold back and my undoing had begun immediately.

Anason … open for a year and packed to the brim.

Then came cured salmon with fennel and pickled chillies, ahtapot (charcoal-grilled octopus with witlof), guvec (wild mushrooms with aromatic rice), a salad based on rocket, tomato, walnut and pomegranate, and the piece de resistance — tandir (half a lamb shoulder with yoghurt and green beans).

I think that by the time dessert — affectionately known as a Turkish Mess (a mix of yoghurt, berries, merengue and rose liqueur) — arrived I was a mess too. But, my, how I tried to finish it off.

Thanks Somer. What you prepared did Turkish cuisine proud.

IF YOU GO

Anason, 5/23 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo. Phone 02 9188 1581. Visit www.anason.com.au.

Tramsheds, 1 Dalgal Way (off The Crescent), Forest Lodge. Visit www.tramshedsharoldpark.com.au.

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