Earlier this year Secret Foodies hosted a Turkish Delights themed dinner at an incredible restaurant called Stanbuli in Enmore.
Those guests lucky to attend were wowed by the quality and quantity of the food as a never-ending array of meze dishes were placed before their eyes. Another special element of the night was getting to know head chef Ibrahim Kasif. Ibs is so passionate about Turkish cuisine, and listening to him talk about his food and heritage you immediately understand why Stanbuli is an award-winning restaurant and a local Inner West favourite.
Stanbuli, is part of the Porteno Group and pivoted to create a successful takeaway business during the COVID-19 lockdown. We caught up with Ibs to chat talk about Stanbuli 2.0, the future of events, and some of the positives that have come out of this lockdown.
Stanbuli has been producing a delicious takeaway offering during Covid-19. What was the decision process around deciding to pivot to a takeaway business?
We wanted to keep Stanbuli open as a way of keeping things as normal as humanly possible during this unusual time. We also had an obligation to keep our amazing team together and their morale up during this time. We had to think fast and adapt new systems quickly, but it kept us all distracted and out of being stuck at home. Turkish food already has a reputation for being a takeaway style food, so we adapted the menu pretty well.
What is something you have seen in the industry that has inspired you during this time?
I love how some restaurants are offering take-home packs and DIY cooking. I think with so many people cooking at home, they’re enjoying cooking food from their favourite restaurant and picking up a few hot tips along the way.
What are you most looking forward to when the restaurant re-opens?
This period has had lots of positives for us. We are excited about Stanbuli 2.0, it would be nice to open the doors with a refreshed approach to the way we do our food and service. We will still be about good food, great drinks and hopefully better company. But, we want to try some new things when we get the green light to reopen.
What is something that you will miss about this time and what positive elements do you hope will remain when restaurants are allowed to reopen?
I think we will miss the reduced hours haha! We love doing what we do, but it has been nice spending more time with family in this period. When we reopen, we might keep some takeaway element about what we do!
How do you think the future of events will look for Stanbuli? What are you planning to do to re-engage event clients when it’s safe to do so?
We would like to have a Turkish inspired aperitive stand-up party downstairs. Food on us, have a drink and we will crank the tunes and have some fun!
When it comes to hosting a successful event what do you think are the most important things to consider?
Energy, positivity and welcoming of our guests. Making sure everyone is happy and the drinks are flowing, the food is flowing and the purpose of the event is articulated. If it is a night about wines, that they try interesting wines and have an experience that was worth coming to. If it is a regional dinner that they understand what the food represents.
Finally, if I am planning the perfect night in what are your top picks from the Stanbuli take away menu?
I think you would need a mixed grill plate, which is Lamb, Chicken and Kofte with Salad, and our mixed dips with freshly baked house bread.
Click on the image below to take a look at the Turkish Delights event.
Take a look at Stanbulis menu options here.