Yes, we know – boom-tish! Much as we love a dad joke, we love what’s going on at this new Bondi eatery even more. Especially when it comes to their sweets.
“Is that what Turkish delight actually tastes like?” asks a fellow diner. “That’s not what I’ve been eating all these years.” If you, like us, first experienced a Turkish delight – that rosewater-sweet, gelatinous Middle-Eastern treat – as an afterthought to a boozy midnight kebab or in that Christmas box of Roses, you’ll know where we’re coming from.
It’s not just the confections that keep us coming back for more. In ex-Rockpool
chef Simon Zalloua’s hands, warm haloumi with a drizzle of honey and sprinkle of za’atar is delicate, simple and extremely tasty. As too are the thrice-cooked golden potatoes with coriander and the baby lettuce crudités with whipped goat’s curd. It’s elegant and uncomplicated – the smooth but tart curd complementing the cool, crisp and well seasoned lettuce perfectly. More robust selections can be found in the tender beef short ribs with Moroccan eggplant salad. Short in length but not in flavour, these are rich and meaty and balanced well with the sweet and textured eggplant.
Drinks-wise, we’d suggest you order a 961 Pale Ale from Lebanon – especially as it’s the only place in Sydney you can get it. With hints of sumac, sage and other spices, it’s super complex and refreshing. The Beirut Blossom Spritzer is like an Aperol Spritz and very easy drinking. It’s made with white wine, elderflower, orange blossom and served with a very cool retro bottle of Uludağ for personal preference, (Uludağ is a flavoured fizzy soda from Turkey).
The room is handsome, with the décor, artwork, dinnerware and tiling all working the Middle-Eastern theme well. There’s a plan to transform the rambling backyard into an beer garden, too. Until then, we’re pretty happy with Sefa. It’s got the type of charm only found in old-school local restaurants – but in this case with much better food. Backed with a knowledgeable front-of-house led by the extremely charismatic and charming ex-Kazbah
manager Utku Ayhan, Sefa is a Bondi must.