I tried Koy a couple of weeks ago on what was probably the last Sunday with warm sunshine. I was actually rather lost for ideas that day, so I hopped onto Urbanspoon to browse what options I had keeping in mind that I was driving to South Melbourne for my spot of marketing. Koy jumped out because of the good rating, reasonable reviews (the usual bad with the good) and it’s right on Cecil St on the side of the market.
It was interesting to read some of the comments about how it wasn’t ‘real’ turkish food, how patrons might be better off along Sydney Rd or Sydney itself. Of course, all comments were made by ethnic Turks so they had to be believed. Which opinion to believe, well only one way to find out.
Although the interior of the restaurant is spacious, there are tables outside when you can engage in some people watching. I do suspect that these will be somewhat vacant during these colder rainy months ahead of us. Which is a shame really, because you’ve now lost the wafts of the paella from the Spanish joint a couple down.
First up was the Sucuklu Yumurta ($15) which is pan fried turkish sausages (sucuk) and eggs in a claypot with bazlama bread. Let me say that the bread is wonderful when warm and toasty. It is soft and sweet on the inside with a slightly stretchy outer layer.
Next, I had the Mercimek Koftesi ($10) – the red lentils rissoles with parsley,spring onion and spiced with cumin and paprika. I really liked the texture of these sizable portions, and a good squeeze of lemon juice really freshened up the rich lentil texture with the citrus acidity.
The Mantar Dolmasi ($12.50) was the oven-baked field mushrooms topped with diced haloumi cheese, spring onion, dill and various other spices. The mushrooms weren’t overcooked which is always a concern. Still solid and with plenty of moisture, the hamouli certainly adds a more substantial weight in the mouth.
Then there was the grilled octopus which was well-presented, visually attractive and equally tasty. I wonder whether they massage the octopus for 50mins like Jiro (check google), but it was not tough at all, close to perfect chewiness and brilliant with the sweet vinegar dressing.
Finally, the Sucuk Köfte ($20.50) was spicy Turkish beef rissoles served on bazlama with sumac spiced red onion & dressed greens. Although rather pricey, the rissoles were cooked perfectly with the sweet marinade, well cooked outer layer, but a moist pink center.
Overall, Koy is a great place for a weekend meal with the convenience of getting your marketing donw later. Some of the dishes are more expensive, but it is worth ordering them to try. The dishes are flavoursome, certainly a modern twist to traditional dishes. I will be back to try the desserts, as well as to enjoy more of that fresh bread with dips. Dinner might be worth a consideration too.