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Pasha's Turkish Restaurant

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by Anthea Lau (subscribe)
A sensual bon vivant who apparently has a flair for art and style. Originally from Hong Kong, studying and enjoying life in Sydney. More posts and photos at
Published February 8th 2012
Anniversary celebration, group gathering, belly dance performance and Shisha smoking, Pasha's restaurant in Newtown served us right with a close to perfect combination. It has much more to offer than food, which is in fact an entire display of the Turkish experience.

The very first object that caught my attention as I stepped into Pasha's had been the vibrant, multi-coloured mosaic glass lamps hanging down from the ceiling, which livened up the room. The restaurant was richly decorated with wooden table sets, wine red carpeted ground, patterned tiles and plates attached to the walls, and copper jugs placed on top of the shelves. Everything together depicted a very cultural yet slightly mysterious sensation to the atmosphere.

Pasha's Restaurant

Mosaic lamps above the stairways

Curtains on window side

Shisha water pipe

All in all, Pasha's has a warm and friendly ambience, where staff never fail to serve up dishes with a pleasant smile. Especially catered for group functions, the private rooms upstairs provided a close-knit environment with patterned dining tables and low, comfy cushion seats. We managed to reserve a booking to celebrate my friend's birthday, and was our very first dining experience at the restaurant.

For the occasion, we opted for the Sultan's Banquet, which was basically a four-course set meal - entrée, salad, main, and dessert and beverages.

First served for entrée during the night were the delightful meze platters with baskets of Turkish pide bread, followed by the beautiful pomegranate salad. The platter consisted of the most complete selection of dips I had seen in quite a long while, including Hummus (chickpea dip), Tzatziki (yoghurt and cucumber dip), Baba Ghanoush (eggplant dip), cashew dip, smoked fish dip, and capsicum dip - each with Pasha's own special little twist. Adorned with fragrant herbs and sprinkled with spices, the meze was a major crowd pleaser. In addition to that, beneath the crisp and slightly chewy surface of the Turkish pide served on the side was a warm and fluffy bread. The meze is by far one of the best I have come across with, and I highly recommend that.

Meze Platter

The mains were brought to the table shortly afterwards - the mixed grill platters. Layered on top of beds of steaming rice were lamb and chicken shish kebabs and meat patties accompanied by sizeable pieces of juicy grilled tomato and capsicum. The herb and spiced rice mixed with chunky chopped peanuts perked up the dish with various interesting textures, where the dish was bursting with bright flavours. Alternatively, vegetarian options are provided to specifically cater for certain dietary needs and preferences.

MIxed grill platter

During the middle of the course of the dinner, the volume of the music was turned up, and a gorgeous lady cascaded into the room, carrying out the anticipated belly dance performance. The dancer was dressed in blue tones with her midriff showing, and started to move her arms and body along with the beats. The tassels with beads hanging from her hips and her long, silky blue skirt waved gracefully according to her movements. Her earrings and the heavily adorned top were shimmering as they reflect the lights above. To add a kick to the performance, she even invited our birthday boy to dance along with her. He politely declined at first, slightly embarrassed, but her passionate influence had him relaxed and finally brought him up from his seat and joined her. Everyone was cheering at his daring and funny moves with excitement. It had been a rather enjoyable session of live entertainment.

Belly dancer

Originated from the Ottoman Empire, Turkish delight came across as one of the most prominent turkish dessert to most of us, where the confectioneries were once, and perhaps still, cherished as a form of precious gift in demonstrating courtesy to one another. They came in rosewater and lemon flavours, and was neatly presented on the plates, dusted in icing sugar and crushed pistachios.

Yet another sweet invention created within the same origin is the Baklava. Made with layers of golden filo pastry, crunchy nuts and honey, it had long became a popular sweet dish. Both types of delicacies were presented in bite-size treats at the party of Pasha's authentic Turkish cuisine.

As a Turkish proverb said, "Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love". Turkish coffee features a relatively rich consistency and a strong flavour, where it appeared to have a darker than normal colour for those at Pasha's. The most apparent difference between regular coffee and Turkish coffee is attributed to the preparation method. To make Turkish coffee, finely powdered roast coffee beans are boiled in a pot, and sugar is added to taste before the grounds settle and served in a cup.

Another well-known Turkish beverage would be the robust, zesty apple tea that can be served hot or cold. Common among the households of the Turks, it is important to brew the tea in a proper way. In their standard, real Turkish apple tea is made from quality black tea leaves, enhanced with apple flavouring and spices to produce that refreshing scent. To me, it almost has a soothing effect that is instantly calming.

Turkish coffee

We intended to continue our night with shisha smoking in the outdoor courtyard, unfortunately the seats for the night were filled by the time we had finished our dinner. Owing to that, we were left with no choice but to postpone our plans to another night in the future.

Be it a unique dining experience or an appeasing shisha session, Pasha's is a place to enjoy the amazing Turkish culinary delights, as well as it is a suitable place for group gatherings. A little curious, a little fascinating, Pasha's is a vivid spot that glows in the heart of Newtown.
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Why? To savour an authentic turkish cuisine with belly dance performance
When: Anytime
Where: 490 King Street Newtown
Cost: $35 pp for Sultan's Banquet
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