Erciyes in Surry Hills – from a humble takeaway shop to local gem
One of the oldest Turkish joints in Sydney, Erciyes offers soul food and friendly service at their almost-historic venue on the busy Cleveland street in Surry Hills.
Established by the Saracoglu family, Erciyes started as a humble take-away shop offering kebabs and pides. Due to the fame of their delicious food, the business expanded overtime and the humble shop turned into a 150 seater restaurant.
Although the venue often bustles with customers and staff, you can still feel the family-run-shop vibe.
If you feel like having a light meal, you can try their soups. The lentil soup is quite filling. The chicken soup is more than a soup but almost an entire meal; with clean and well-cooked but soft chicken breast strips in a delicious hearty soup. The soups are served with freshly baked Turkish bread.
Erciyes’ lamb casserole is second to none. This is a mouth-watering juicy lamb dish made with tomato, capsicum, garlic, onion and eggplant. The dish is served with rice pilaf as well as with Turkish bread. You may enjoy the casserole laid on a bed of pilaf and have all the rice soak up the juice and attack it with your spoon or fork. Or you can simply dunk the freshly baked Turkish bread into the juicy casserole and devour it.
Erciyes probably has more dolma varieties than any other Turkish restaurants in Sydney. You can find, not only sarma (vine leaves) but also biber dolma (stuffed capsicum) and lahana dolma (cabbage leaves) as well as patlican dolma (stuffed eggplant) on Erciyes menu. I haven’t encountered sarma (vine leaves) made as authentic like their anywhere else in Sydney. Just the right texture and that fresh lemony flavour.
Erciyes offers a reasonable variety of traditional side dishes. Classics such as taze fasulye (green beans in tomato sauce), tarama (caviar), mucver (zucchini patties), and patlican kizartma (fried eggplant) are standard on the menu.
As for grills, the mixed grill is a meat-lover’s dream. This dish is made to serve two people however if accompanied with a side dish, it can easily serve 3 people. The mix-grill comes with a decent size salad and a reasonable portion of rice pilaf. The grill includes succulent lamb chops, kofte meatballs, lamb and chicken shish skewers as well as fried mushrooms.
The restaurant also has a doner kebab machine. Therefore they also offer the staple beef and chicken doner kebabs, on plate as well as in wraps. Additionally they also serve yoghurt based Iskender kebab, as well as generous size kofte plates.
Their house specials include mouth-watering kofte roll, which is made of 4 kofte meatballs and salad wrapped in flat bread. However when we asked the chef to substitute the flat bread with Turkish bread, they kindly compiled. Thus we were able to experience the kofte-ekmek Turkish street food in Sydney CBD.
Like many other Turkish restaurants, Erciyes also dish up the standard pide types, including the sought-after kusbasi pide.
Finally we recommend trying their desserts. Their revani, the coconut cake, has the right texture and most importantly the right amount of sweet – it won’t burn your throat.
Erciyes Restaurant is located on 409 Cleveland Street in Surry Hills NSW. There are plenty of parking spaces on small streets nearby. There is a small shopping village 150 meters away from the restaurant with a good size car park.
You can make reservations at Erciyes via (02) 9319 1309. The restaurant serves between 11am-11:30pm 7 days a week.
Or you can order Turkish food from Erciyes offers via Deliveroo and Menulog if you happen to be in the delivery range.