One of my favourite cuisines is Turkish food, yet I rarely get a chance to eat it as there aren’t any Turkish restaurants around the neighbourhoods I live and work in. So, as you can imagine, I was very excited to be invited to Olive Thyme restaurant for a chance to indulge my cravings.
Olive Thyme was born from a passion to bring people together, to share in delicious food matched with personally selected, locally sourced boutique wines. Their philosophy is based on where Turkish tradition meets modern inspiration; the best of both worlds.
Olive Thyme restaurant is located in Albion, QLD. Albion is an inner north-eastern suburb of Brisbane.
DESIGN & LAYOUT
The restaurant itself is classic and welcoming, featuring dozens of beautifully painted Turkish plates on the wall to admire.
Beautiful husband and wife duo, Yalcin and Sibel, along with their lovely family, offer warm hospitality and real, authentic Turkish delicacies that are bursting with flavour whilst being beautifully presented.
Sibel is said to be the ‘true inspiration’ behind the brand, and her passion interior for interior design and collectible antiques can be spotted throughout the restaurant. With a father as a restaurateur in Wellington, NZ, and a mother who loved to feed people, it seems to be written in the stars that Sibel would also thrive in the restaurant business, successfully offering and authentic Turkish, heartfelt dining experience in Brisbane.
Yalcin’s passion for high quality cuisine came from his roots, back in Ankara and Marmaris, serving traditional Anatolian delicacies to the Turkish people, who are apparently known to be tough food critics! He later moved to New Zealand to reunite with his high school sweetheart, part of an epic love story that Yalcin will tell you over a cup of tasty Turkish coffee, if you’re lucky.
Yalcin went on to successfully become one of the first way-makers of Turkish cuisine to Wellington. After further successes, Yalcin followed the sunshine with his family to sunny Brizzy in 2003. After months in Turkey to fine tune his traditional Turkish recipes and methods, paired with his passion for sustainable foods, permaculture and organic growing, he and Sibel bring us this wonderful establishment called Olive Thyme.
It was palpable that the team are passionate about what they offer, carrying a sense of pride in their step, along with warm smiles that make you feel as though you are a part of their family.
FOOD & BEVERAGES
I was treated to nothing short of a feast. Traditional Turkish cuisine is comprised of multiple tantalizing meals which all complement one another. (Heaps better than eating just one dish, right?)
I was humbled to try a massive sixteen incredible dishes. They all deserve a mention so here goes:
• Fremantle Octopus – with spiced peppers, tahini, beans puree, citrus dressing and activated walnuts.
• Bamya – Grilled okra with crispy chickpeas, hummus, garlic and dill vinaigrette.
• Hamsi, which is white anchovies with dill, purple onion and olive oil.
• Kizartma – Eggplant, courgettes, sweet peppers, red sauce and natural yoghurt.
• Soujouk Halloumi – Local halloumi, Turkish garlic sausage and fig purée.
• Fasulye – Flat green beans, pita crisps and black-sea hazelnuts.
• Yoghurtlu Kabak – Zucchini, strained yoghurt, dill, garlic and olive oil.
• Hummus – Chickpeas, tahini, cumin, garlic and hazelnut dukkah.
• Muhammara – Chargrilled spiced peppers, fenugreek, garlic and walnuts.
• Bazlama – Anatolian round flat bread with rosemary salt butter.
• Grilled zucchini with yoghurt.
• Lamb backstrap with smoked eggplant, soft onions, buryan pilau and lemon tahini.
• Pirzola – Lamb cutlets with quinoa pilau, zucchini strips and pesto yoghurt.
• Beyti – Hand-ground lamb with bazlama croutons, charred capsicum sauce, biryan pilau and natural yoghurt.
• Imam Bayildi – Eggplant, caramelised onion and red peppers, quinoa and soft cheese.
• Greens with activated walnuts, village cheese, green olives and dried figs.
Is your mouth watering yet? Of course it is. A total feast for the senses, with each dish as sumptuous as the next and bursting with delicious, fresh flavours. To pair with these incredible menu items, they also offer wonderful Turkish wines, tantalizing Turkish desserts and of course, great coffee.
I highly recommend this restaurant as one of my favourite, absolute must-visit spots when in Brisbane. Incredible food by incredible people. A huge thank you to the Olive Thyme family for welcoming me and feeding me with some of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. Please support these guys when you’re in Brizzy next.