I like to participate in life rather than be a spectator. Music, dancing, theatre, travelling, food, cycling and walking are some of my passions. Writing is an enjoyable pastime that allows me to share my experiences.
JAAKS Restaurant occupies the ground floor of The Kyle Bay an unusual building which is reminiscent of the bow of a ship overlooking the sparkling peaceful waters of Kyle Bay. The predominantly white decor has a nautical feel and the large glass windows provide a scenic outlook.
George Christodoulou and Diana Valsamis are the directors and owners of The Kyle Bay, and the restaurant Jaaks is named after their children Jordan – Alannah – Anya – Kosta – Sienna. As siblings, you could say George and Diana, were born into the hospitality industry when their parents, Con and Anna, started a catering company over 40 years ago.
The ambience of the space is casual, relaxed and welcoming almost like being at a family dinner. The cuisine is described as Eastern Mediterranean and combines flavours from the heritage of the Cypriot Greek owners and the Turkish chef whilst showcasing fresh locally sourced produce. Unfamiliar ingredients are explained and the friendly obliging staff are happy to discuss and suggest dishes. The head chef Arman Uz has been with the team since April 2018 and provides an innovative take on traditional foods. The style of plating and the way the menu is organised into 'Flora', 'Fauna' and 'Ocean' gives a hint to the importance that is placed on the sourcing of quality seasonal produce.
The menu changes regularly and is dependent on the quality and availability of the locally sourced fresh produce. Each dish is described in simple terms that only give a hint to the complexity of flavour and texture that result. Iman Bayildi is described as smoked eggplant-capsicum-tomato-tahini but is so much more, the colourful dish of lightly smoked eggplant was tender and creamy with a spicy fresh relish of capsicum and tomato.
All the dishes are presented beautifully and the flavours did not disappoint. The seasoning is subtle but the flavours are complex, fresh herbs are used and garlic and chilli are used with the right amount of restraint. The cauliflower dish $18 was crunchy, creamy, salty smoky and sweet whilst the simplicity of the honeyed haloumi $20 highlighted the quality of the two ingredients.
The char-grilled octopus $36 was accompanied by black eyed beans, smoked yoghurt and a sweet & sour pomegranate molasses sauce that was an addictive combination of contrasting flavours and textures. The beef dish Kulbatsi was filling and had a richly flavoured tomato sauce that soaked into the base of thick home baked bread. The rustic style of this dish contrasted with the modern way the Sardines On Toast were served. My other half was so excited to sample this that he could not wait for me to take a picture of the full plate!
They are fully licensed and have a good range of wines, beers, spirits, soft drinks, great coffee and teas. Banquets are available at $65 a head for groups of 4 or more and are suggested for groups larger than 10, parts of the restaurant can be partitioned off for private functions There is plenty of onsite parking and space for children to run around outside, the tables are well spaced and diners are encouraged to take their time and enjoy the dining experience.
Well worth a trip to Kyle Bay to try some delicious food in a beautiful setting!