While in Sydney, my friends took me to Balmain for breakfast at Efendy. I first came across Efendy at the Taste of Sydney Festival earlier in the year, and have read good reviews about it. Efendy also won the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Breakfast in Sydney 2014 so I couldn’t wait to eat breakfast there! On a Sunday morning, we found it very easy to find a park on the street the restaurant is on. The courtyard outside is set up with tables and chairs under sun umbrellas. I was glad we had a table inside with the cool air conditioning on that warm 36 degree day.

Efendy Balmain entranceEfendy is pretty much a renovated two-storey house turned into a restaurant. Sitting down at our table, it does feel like you’ve entered someone’s home. There are dark wooden floorboards that give a lovely creak, exposed brick walls, two fireplaces and gorgeous stained glass windows.

Efendy Balmain inside 1A mix of wooden tables, chairs and benches with cushions are scattered throughout on both floors.

Efendy Balmain insideThe Van breakfast is $29 per person and available Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 2pm. It includes over 30 Turkish delicacies so you’re in for a feast. Van is an eastern border city in Turkey, and the menu states it is famous for its breakfast houses. Travelling to Turkey is on my travel wishlist! The Van breakfast at Efendy is served banquet style where everything is brought out onto the table. A huge wooden plank came out first and was filled with so many items.

Efendy Balmain van breakfastOne bowl is filled with some hot items such as cigar borek and pachanga borek. The cigar borek is shaped like a spring roll and filled with fetta. The pachanga borek was new to me and is kind of like a fat sausage roll and filled with mince and cheese.  Both were wrapped in flakey crispy pastry. Then there’s goats fetta, curly haloumi, olives, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, smoked prosciutto and cous cous salad. The fresh fruit is a nice touch and good way to end the breakfast. There are slices of helva (a dense sweet) with pistachios in it too which was crumbly, buttery and melted in my mouth.

Efendy Balmain van breakfast 1Three types of warm bread rolls are included in another bowl for the jams, spreads and honey on one end of the plank.  One of the rolls was quite buttery, more like a scone so it was interesting trying that with all the sweet jams. The spreads included ironbark honey, cherry jam, rose jam, apricot jam, tahini-grape molasses and muhammara. With such a sweet tooth, I loved the rose jam which had a beautiful fragrance and taste of rose to it. I wanted to ask if it could be bought but completely forgot to ask in the end. The ironbark honey was also rich and sweet and included some walnuts. The molasses was thick but easy to spread and had a very subtle flavour. Maybe I should’ve tried it before all the sweet honey. The muhammara, made of peppers, was very mild (which suits me) and I loved the vivid red colour.

Efendy Balmain Van breakfast dipsSpicy sujuk sausages were brought out. These were lean and filled with salty goodness.

Efendy Balmain chorizoHot menemen eggs were also provided in a separate bowl. This was mixed with tomato, onion and capsicum.

Efendy Balmain menemenBreakfast also includes Turkish tea and Turkish coffee. We were asked how we liked our coffee – a bit of sugar, a lot of sugar, no sugar etc. I chose a bit of sugar for mine and it came out perfect. Great coffee! The Turkish tea was a nice light black tea but I prefer the Turkish apple tea.

Efendy Balmain Turkish coffeeI asked for Turkish apple tea and this was brought out soon after. Staff come around asking if you’d like refills of tea or coffee and I asked for a refill of the apple tea. Love it!

Efendy Balmain Turkish apple teaI’m really happy with breakfast at Efendy. They put on a great spread with lots of variety. At $29 per person (and $15 per child between 3-12 years old), it’s not too expensive for the amount of food received. I can see why they’ve won Best Breakfast in Sydney. Service is friendly and I love the regular refills of tea, coffee and water. A bonus is that it doesn’t take long for the food to come out (we waited about 15 minutes after sitting down before the plank came out), though I am told that Sunday is a quieter day. I appreciated that since there were three of us, staff made sure items were served in lots of three so no one missed out on anything. It’s such a pleasant place to dine in and you do feel right at home.

Foodgasm 8/10
Price 8/10
Service 8/10

FPJ score 24/30

Remember, if you’d like to be in the running to win a $60 voucher to spend at Fox & Bow Cafe in Farrer, be sure to follow the instructions as per my previous blog post.

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