Brighton Le Sands has been well renowned for its Mediterranean cuisine in Sydney for decades. Now there’s a newcomer on the scene that is setting a new benchmark for traditional dishes with a contemporary twist. Republiq Shisha Bar and Grill at the beach-side promenade is definitely one to schedule into your eating calendar.
Republiq Shisha Bar and Grill entices you from the boardwalk with its lavish, colourful Turkish mosaic tiles and matching outdoor decor.
A black foyer and bright white marble serving bars contrast elegantly with the playfulness of the tiles, while subtle lighting at dusk did not detract from a perfect view of Botany Bay.
The custom made fish tank drew our attention immediately and became a talking point throughout dinner with part-owner Danny Monsour. The attentiveness and knowledge of the wait staff was oustanding.
We were definitely in for a treat this evening as head chef Bektas Ozean delivered a superb selection of their most popular dishes. The menu hails from our favourite Mediterranean regions: Greece, Lebanon, Morocco, Spain and Turkey.
A trio of starters included traditional warm flat bread with seeded olive oil, taramasalata with salmon roe and crispy bread and house-made labne. The taramasalata was among the freshest we have eaten and the labne delivered a perfect combination of creamy yoghurt and char-grilled vegetables and a light dusting of cracked wheat. These were delicious and all complemented each other perfectly.
For the entree, we were delighted to savour the Turkish grilled octopus and new chef specialty, spiced lamb sausage and hommus. Many restaurants serve octopus however few get it right. Thankfully, Republiq know what they are doing. This was one of our favourite dishes and was tender, flame grilled to perfection and sat on a mildly spiced vegetable and herb based sauce.
The in-house lamb sausage with hommous, pickled radish and pistachio was nicely balanced and we found out later that like a lot of things from Republiq, are custom made to order by the restaurants’ butcher to a traditional Turkish recipe.
The Turkish borek was a deliciously light, spinach and feta-filled flaky pastry served with a crisp salad of greens and olives. This would be a perfect table-sharing main dish as the serving was more than generous.
The time-honoured lamb kebab is a signature Republiq dish and now we know why. The perfectly cooked lamb backstrap was encased in pistachio and air-light pastry. We savoured the bhaba ghanoush with the sweetness of pomegranate and the tart refreshment of globe artichoke. Burnt butter was drizzled over the whole plate to bring out the flavours of the micro herbs and spices. This is one must-have dish!
For dessert we tried the knefe with mascarpone, honey and pistachios. The subtle sweetness of the sugar syrup enveloped the pastry and the plate was beautifully dusted with flowers. This is a desert that would please everyone. It is not too sweet and the distinct cheese and honey flavours were well matched.
The 220 seated restaurant offers al fresco seating on the promenade and a shisha bar upstairs with capacity for a wide-variety of functions. You will feel equally at home on a romantic dinner, family catchup or party with friends. With impeccable service, generous portions and a fabulous view, definitely book ahead for Republiq Bar and Grill.