Having spent a few years living and working in Istanbul, we developed quite a taste for Turkish cuisine. However, unlike many other types of food that are readily available in Auckland, we just could never quite seem to find a place that would satisfy our craving for it (sorry kebab on Queen lovers, that is NOT Turkish food). That all changed after we decided to give Mezze Bar a go.
Let me start with a disclaimer, this isn't a Turkish restaurant. It's more a fusion restaurant with quite a few Turkish and Turkish-inspired items on the menu. But to us, it's a Turkish restaurant because we will (probably) never progress past our old favs. In the heart of the city on Durham St, it's a bright place with a number of different seating options from cozy tables for two to larger tables and couches.
Now, on to the important part- the food! I have to admit that we have trouble moving on from dishes we try and love, so I can only speak of a few things from experience. The lamb tapa is a delicious take on kofte kebab, served up skewered with Turkish bread and hummus, tahini and spicy harrisa. The beef is beautifully seasoned and the hummus is perhaps the best we've ever had. They also serve a mean mezze plate that includes five dips, dolmas (meaning to stuff, in this case stuffed grape leaves and peppers), olives, veggie sticks and bread. As someone who likes to 'graze' over a meal, it's perfect and great to share. There's also a Turkish lentil soup on the menu that looks divine. I'm hoping to try it one day! To top it off, they serve up their beer in ice-cold glasses- the perfect accompaniment to a perfect meal!
When you visit Mezze Bar, make sure to leave room for dessert. You can go simple and just grab a piece of Turkish delight or baklava, but we have to recommend you go all out! I mean where else can you get baklava served with fig and honey ice cream and drenched in honey? There are no words for how good it tastes- no dried out baklava here! And because we eat here for our Turkish fix, we have it with mint tea served in traditional Turkish glasses. That said, the espresso is to be legendary as well.