It’s tough heading back to work after the summer break, but in 2024 we’re all about keeping that decadent holiday feeling going throughout the year—starting with a summer feast at Ahmet’s Turkish restaurant. You want to stretch your dollar as far as it can go and be full up with delicious food? Then the Sultan’s Feast at Ahmet’s NEEDS to be on your foodie to-do list this year. 

Ahmet’s is known as Brisbane’s best authentic Turkish restaurant for a reason. When we turn up, it’s just as bustling and busy as ever—in fact, I can’t remember a time I’ve ever seen this restaurant even close to empty. We’re shown to our table in a comfy, intimate side room, with soft cushioned seating and traditional decor. 

We already decided before we got there that we were partaking in the Sultan’s Feast, an eight-course banquet with a bottle of prosecco for $79 per person and maybe a cheeky cocktail or two. 

Now, while eight courses sounds like a LOT, this is the kind of food that’s made to share. When we order, we expect a few meals to come out at a time but it ALL comes out at once (super fast, too!) and we’re instantly in heaven. 

Before I tell you the mouthwatering delights on offer, I want to say that the customer service there was outstanding. One of my friends is a coeliac and can’t even have glutenous food touching the same utensil as her food or it’s not a good time. The Ahmet’s staff took it in their stride and made sure she had a tasty alternative for every dish on the menu she couldn’t eat, and it felt like no trouble at all! 

So, what was on the menu? Our banquet journey started with freshly baked Turkish bread with house-made dip and I had to make sure not to just fill up on bread. Then there was the Sigara Borek which is a Turkish spring roll filled with feta and mozzarella with a garlic dill yoghurt and instantly it’s a new favourite. It’s MELTY CHEESE covered in crispy pastry. Drool. 

Three plates from an aerial view, one with Turkish bread, one with two spring rolles and one with calamari and salad garnish.
Well for starters… this stuff!

Then there’s a plate of flash fried calamari with lemon and smoked sea salt that is fresh, light and a lovely contrast to the rest of the meal. Next is the king’s pide (basically a Turkish pizza) with a mouthwatering combo of Turkish chorizo, chicken, mushroom, onion, feta, mozzarella, cheese and tomatoes. The dough was light and fluffy and the combination of meats all complimented each other really well. 

But again, I needed to remind myself to go easy on the bread products because our table was positively overflowing with assorted meats I needed to try. Like the lamb iskender—buttery soft shaved lamb on a bed of diced Turkish bread with Ahmet’s special tomato-based sauce and garlic yoghurt. Having the bread on the bottom of the dish is genius because all the scrumptious sauce soaks down into it and it’s like you’ve got a second meal underneath.

A top down image of a mediterranean salad and Turkish pide with chorizo, tomato and red onion at Ahmets.
Pide aka Turkish pizza.

Then we’re onto the main event: Ahmet’s famous mixed grill—a plate piled high with a carnivore’s dream. We’re talking succulent chicken wings and a selection of chargrilled skewers of beef, chicken and adana (ground lamb) with a side of jasmine rice cooked with risoni and butter. The meat is cooked to perfection, flavoursome and slides off the skewers SO easily. All this meat is contrasted well with a fresh, crisp mediterranean salad of tomato, red onion and cucumber with a lemon and olive oil dressing.

A place full of mixed grill meats on skewers with tongs on top.
A carnivore’s dream.

I should mention that in the meantime I had ordered a Turkish spritz cocktail and just LOOK at the sugary dream that showed up (pictured below). It consisted of Chambord, pomegranate juice, prosecco and fairy floss and tasted like rosewater Turkish delight. Heaven. 

It proves the perfect accompaniment to our dessert: homemade baklava with pistachio and walnut drizzled with the most delectable lemon sugar syrup. It’s perfectly flakey and sweet, with a zest that cuts through nicely. 

A pink cocktail with fairy floss and rose petals on top with a straw.
Turkish delight in a glass.

Also around this time, a rhythmic drumming starts up and we look around, only to remember that because it’s a Friday night, there’s live belly dancing! This happens only on Friday and Saturday nights so make sure you book for one of those nights if you want a side of extra entertainment (and maybe some crowd participation if you’re lucky/unlucky!)

By the time the mesmerising dancing is finished, we’re all contemplating undoing the top button on our jeans. Well, except me because I wore a strategic smock dress to leave room for all the treats. We’re full to bursting but the food is so tasty that we just keep eating, praying that someone will come and save us from ourselves. That someone comes in the form of our fab waiter, who asks us if we want to take some of our leftover food home with us. 

That’s a big YES from us, and I am already contemplating my meaty breakfast the next morning. 

Ahmet’s Turkish is a wonderful place to gather with friends and share bountiful tasty food and stretch your money far. It also has ideal positioning right on the edges of the picturesque South Bank, so you can go for a little stroll to walk off all that decadence afterwards.

Ahmet’s Turkish, 10/168 Grey St, South Brisbane QLD 4101.

Elizabeth Best

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