Sofra Turkish Cuisine
164 Margaret St, Toowoomba Q 4350
Tucked away not far from the centre of a provincial city, this restaurant is a real find, its menu a combination of the novel and the familiar. Ezogelin Corbas, as it is called in the menu, turns out to be a lentil and bulgur soup, thick and full of goodness, to which mint gives extra taste. The fattouche is an old favourite and comes in a generous serve, enlivened with a scattering of pomegranate seeds and topped with fried shavings of sweet potato and the green parts, somewhat chewy after being fried, of shallots. The bread scattered within the fattouche is of the Turkish, leavened kind rather than the toasted flat bread used by Arabs. The dish contains fetta cheese, but this can be put on the side, making the dish suitable for vegans. The hummus, which again comes in a large serve, is delightfully spicy, as is the falafel, properly moist and darker than I’m accustomed to. As is sometimes the case with Turkish food, there is no shortage of bread relative to the other foods; on request it can be served without the usual smear of butter. If this were not enough, wine is to be had, not merely Australian and New Zealand but Turkish! We enjoyed a rich red from Magnesia, an area by the River Meander in what the Greeks still call Asia Minor.
This restaurant was a happy find which we noticed while walking down the street and decided to enter on impulse. The owner is a Turk and the basic recipes followed are authentically Turkish, but the cook comes from Nepal. The dynamics produce food of stunning quality.