As we walked down Auburn Road, we couldn’t resist the charmingly misty aroma of lamb being cooked over charcoal and we were attracted through the doors of Dervish like bees to the flower garden.
Dervish wasn’t on our list of places to see, although we were told it was a “different” type of kebab joint. According to the Turkish word-of-mouth network that this newish Turkish cafe has attracted quite a following since it opened up at the beginning of the year.
With its narrow entrance, Dervish doesn’t seem like it promises that much from the outside, but once you step inside, you are transported to the humble but popular little eateries of Anatolia.
The long hall is decorated with a row of tables and a long food bar showcasing handmade dolmas, fresh salads, and some traditional home-style olive oil dishes for example, dishes you wouldn’t normally find in kebab shops; Kuru fasulye – a home-style dish made with butter beans, rice with chickpeas or turlu – a vegetarian dish consisting of eggplant, pepper and tomato.
These were all nice and different but what set the place apart from the other shops was the fact that it had yaprak doner. Imagine the beef doner you see in the local kebab joint; picture that 30-kg machine made, giant roll of compressed meat – now imagine the same roll made from actual layers of lamb -just the way it is originally made in Turkey! Delicious! Next to drinks fridge, mouthwatering desserts and various marinated meats laying on a bed of charcoal.
The breads and pides (Turkish pizza)are all made in the bread oven behind the food bar. After we ordered our meal, the bread bowl greeted us first with our cutlery and it was be topped up automatically as we devoured the delicious home-style vegetarian dishes and lamb kebab.
The hosts offered us Turkish tea after our meal. The food was great, tea was excellent. Well done Dervish.