Mediterranean food is scarce around the Mt Albert/Balmoral area where Dumpling Club ventures, so it was a very pleasant surprise to realise a well-regarded Turkish restaurant was mere minutes in nearby Kingsland.
Jaan Turkish is housed in a converted villa in the main street of Kingsland. The décor is nicely understated. There was a collection of hookahs (smoking pipes) on display, not sure if these are available for patrons. I was surprised walking into Jaan just after midday on Friday to realise our group of 6 were the only people dining. This is large space, with seatings downstairs and also out in the courtyard.
We decided to share a range from the lunch menu (more limited than the dinner menu). Jaan also serves a range of wood-fired pizzas, but we stuck to the first page. Even though we were the only people there, and our orders were taken soon after, the meals took a while to come out. All the dishes came with salad leaves with a citrus dressing and hummus, and some were served with Turkish pida bread.
The meat mezza platter ($17) was a generous serving with crumbed chicken, a grilled chicken nibble, spiced lamb medallion, lamb-filled filo cigars and a selection of dips. The meats were nicely spiced and the grilled chicken was suitably smokey.
We sampled two of the shish kebabs, which are meats flame-grilled on an open fire. These are served with green salad, hummus and bread but the promised tabouli and chilli and yoghurt dips were missing. The kofta shish ($15) is spiced minced lamb marinated with onions, red capsicum and pasley. The chicken shish ($15) presented as cubes of marinated chicken. The kofta was the pick, with the aromatics and spices giving plenty of flavour to the mince.
The mititi kofta ($14) was basically the mince mixture of the kofta shish formed into medallions and gilled on a bbq, and just as delicious.
I found the muska boregi ($12) filo triangles’ filling of spinach and feta too salty, and the pastry oily.
We also shared the warm chicken salad ($15); chargrilled marinated breast fillets. This was again rather ordinary.
I cannot believe I had never tried apple tea, – this is served hot, and is amazingly fragrant. It is not as sweet as apple juice, but for all intents, appear to be the same thing. I’ve since found out that apple tea is typically made from processed fruit-flavour granules. I am curious what actual apple tea actually taste like.
While I enjoyed the meal at Jaan, the dishes we had were basic, even if they were tasty enough. The dinner menu looked more interesting (tagine, moussaka).
Jaan Turkish Restaurant
505 New North Road, Kingsland
Ph: 09-281 5406
Open 7 days, 11:30am until late