The other night, with a reason to celebrate, my darling wife and I stepped out and headed for the High Street; that's High Street, Victoria Point. Nearby, in Lakeside Drive, is a restaurant we had been waiting for a reason to try for quite some time – Efendi's Turkish Restaurant. It was really worth the wait but both of us agree we should have made up a reason ages ago and just gone.
From the moment we got the big smiley welcome as we walked in the front door until we staggered back out onto the street feeling fully sated, the experience was superb.
The night was chilly but inside was snuggly warm, the tables had good spacing between them and the service was fast and friendly. The decor is every bit as good as the table arrangements. The tables are topped with genuine Persian rugs, well, maybe not genuine but they're pretty realistic looking! My little heart-throb asked me to take a photo of the beautiful light shades hanging from the ceiling but when I downloaded the photos there was just an orb of light in the middle, no detail; so just take my word for it, the light shades were really spectacular.
Adding to the ambiance for us was the Turkish music wafting through the restaurant at an acceptable volume – you could listen if you wanted but it didn't interfere with the conversation. A beautiful coffee pot on the counter beside our table really set off the whole package for us.
We started with the garlic Turkish bread ($6.50) with Baba Gannus ($4.90). Nice hot bread with garlic butter and herbs all over making it a necessity to lick your fingers from time to time – of course I used my napkin as licking fingers is bad form, isn't it? The Baba Gannus set the bread off beautifully and had the tastebuds screaming for more.
I had had my heart set on tucking into a Pide, or Turkish pizza, but then my eyes went down the menu and I read, "Lamb traditional clay pot casserole with eggplant, zucchini, onion, potato, capsicum, celery, mushroom and carrot." There's no saying 'No' to that. The clay pot is a little dearer than a pide at $22.90 but, what the heck? We're celebrating.
My sweet, soul-mate from across the table selected the Iskender. This is grilled lamb layered on fresh Turkish bread with Efendi's special tomato sauce and drizzled with garlic yoghurt. All that for a measly $24.00.
As the designated driver the only intoxication with which I could partake was in the radiance coming from my wonderful wife. This meant we gazed into each other's eyes across a couple of soft drinks and whispered endearments about where we can put that new garden bed and what day I should go shopping next week.
All in all a perfect night. Absolutely lovely food in a comfortable, warm restaurant with friendly and efficient staff. The meal sizes were big; I'm a big eater but I was stumped; after the starter and main there was no room for desert – I did have to finish off the Iskender so that might have had an impact!
If you like middle eastern/Turkish food you will love Efendi's Turkish Restaurant. Even if you just like Turkish décor you will be happy with this place. We can vouch for the Restaurant on Lakeside Drive, Victoria Point. There is also another Efendi's at 19-33 Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina down on the Gold Coast so, if you're down that way, it might save you a trip up to the Redlands.