Eating at Sultan’s Kitchen is a gastronomic adventure. The menu is a carefully crafted fusion of the best of Turkish, Mediterranean, Moroccan and European cuisine. Owner Erdem Lalanci’s all-consuming passion for Turkish food comes from his childhood memories of growing up in Turkey. “Turkish people eat for pleasure, not just to fill the tummy,” he says, explaining that eating there is often a shared experience; as much about family, community and laughter as it is about food. This is exactly the type of experience Erdem and his wife Esra aim to give customers at Sultan’s Kitchen.
Located on Bryce Street’s popular dining lane, the restaurant has a warm, inviting ambience. It’s light and airy; a modern, sophisticated look with some colourful touches: Turkish lanterns hang from the ceiling, intricate Turkish plates decorate one wall, Turkish-patterned wallpaper another. There’s great indoor-outdoor flow and the restaurant is perfectly positioned to catch the late-afternoon sun.
Exterior heating is great for those chilly evenings. Erdem worked in a busy Auckland restaurant for years and also owned two kebab takeaway shops there. Although he enjoyed serving takeaway food, he prefers the restaurant experience: cooking a variety of good food, taking care with presentation, listening to his customers’ likes and dislikes to put together each meal for the Kiwi palate and, most importantly, cooking each meal to his own perfectionist standard.
Starting their own restaurant has always been a dream for Erdem and Esra, who takes care of the bar and all coffees. As a trained barista she enjoys ensuring that each coffee and drink is up to standard; that your entire experience is just as it should be. The pair opened Sultan’s Kitchen in December and business is booming.“We find that when Kiwis try authentic Turkish food, they always love it,”Erdem says. Small and meaningful touches like beautifully presented food, warm and friendly service and a complimentary Turkish delight when you leave make for an unforgettable experience.
Enjoy mezze platters, succulent char-grilled shish kebabs as well as moussaka, falafel, beef iskender and tagine, or try Kiwi favourites like fish and chips, scotch fillet, open-fried mussels or calamari – there’s something for everyone on the menu, including vegetarian options. Sultan’s Kitchen is fully licensed for alcohol. All meat is halal.
With appetisers starting from $4 and a takeaway lunch special of a kebab for $9, or combo of kebab, chips and drink for $13, you’ll want to be booking a table at Sultan’s Kitchen on Bryce Street. Call 07 211-7695.