23 July 2018

It’s no secret that Bodrum Kitchen is probably the most beautiful Mediterranean restaurant in New Zealand.

Imagine you’re sitting by the Eastern European sea. The sun’s shining, you’re sipping Sangria, and there are mezze platters aplenty, loaded with the most mouthwatering halloumi, pickles, feta, olives and freshly baked bread. Doesn’t that seem heavenly?

Not only is the food vibrant, fragrant, authentic and fresh, the tranquil ambience is unparalleled. It doesn’t have to take a plane ride or five to experience it for yourself, though. Do yourself a favour and be whisked away for a beautiful brunch or a lazy lunch in a wee corner of Turkish paradise right in New Lynn.  Why wouldn’t you, when nowhere else feels like it exports you right into the heart of the magical coastal city of Bodrum? You’ll almost believe you’re there, for real!

Did we mention that they have the absolute most lovely and genuine staff as well? Hand on heart. Their uniquely warm team culture and family vibe is what really makes this place so wonderful – and their team member Nada was actually our June winner of ‘Rewarding the Exceptional’, where our customers voted for an amazing team member to be in to win a gift for being so brilliant. (You can vote here). So apparently, not only do WE think they’re wonderful, so do you! It’s a really redeeming feature of a place, to witness team members who are passionate about and believe in what they do, consistently, every day. There’s some food for thought!

When writing about restaurants you generally want to give some dish recommendations, or dish out some “must-tries”. It’s pretty hard to sum up favourite dishes, because ‘everything’ isn’t helpful, so I’ll give my top five favourites a crack!


In Turkey, the notion of everyone coming together to enjoy a traditional family gathering over breakfast is a gorgeous cultural tradition we seem to lack here a little in New Zealand. The hero to Bodrum Kitchen’s menu, Breakfast in Turkey, is a nod to this tradition with a lineup of traditional delicacies, and is perfect for the person who loves a little sweet and savoury in the same meal.

Served on a Turkish platter, this big breakfast includes toasted pide bread, with Turkish scrambled eggs and sausage, and accompanied with incredible feta, olives, tomato, cucumber plus honey, berry compote, and fig mascarpone. What a mouthful!

Perfect for a long brunch with special friends and loved ones.


Sigara Borek is a small plate with big impact. Found on the mezze small plates menu or perched on the side of the divine mezze platter, the Sigara Borek will fail to disappoint. I promise.

Herbed feta and potato make up these savoury starters, wrapped in filo perfection like a crunchy cigar, and served with a healthy dollop of zesty homemade tzatziki (Mediterranean yoghurt dressing) and fresh mint.

Honestly, they are truly delicious and I heartily recommend them for a side or starter to your lunch or for dinner. The only bad thing? You won’t want to share!


Now, this is literally the only time in my entire review-writing career that I’ve put a salad as a must try dish, so this is really saying something. But holy moly, Bodrum Kitchen’s market salad is a feast for the eyes and the heart!

With a lashing of homemade pomegranate vinaigrette and sprinkled with candied walnuts and crusty Turkish pide croutons, this next-level salad will make your lunch partner green with dish envy. And for those that like options, you can select the star of your salad with either pulled pork, roasted chicken, grilled halloumi or falafel.

I’m not even a vegetarian, but Bodrum Kitchen’s halloumi is insanely excellent, so that’s my top pick of my top picks here. While on both the day and evening menu, we recommend this salad for the best lunch.


I don’t know for sure, one would assume that Bodrum Kitchen’s signature dish is their lamb tagine, because of how excellent it is. Slow roasted lamb shank atop couscous with sultanas, carrots and coriander yoghurt makes for a filling and warming dish, perfect for the winter weather. The lamb is flawless and practically falls off the bone, making for a melt-in-the-mouth meal you will want to eat repeatedly, week after week, visit after visit. They also do a special Tagine Night on Sundays for $20. Yum!


While not a meal in itself (typically, but never say never!) Bodrum Kitchen’s Turkish Delight is unlike any other you’ll find in New Zealand. Come in at the perfect time and you’ll even catch Nada or another one of the gorgeous team members making it right in front of you! The best way to enjoy it? With a stunningly presented cup of Turkish coffee or specialty Turkish Apple tea, a rich baklava and some great company. The lovely team might even gift you a wee taste with your morning mocha, instead of marshmallows, if you’re lucky. Bless! I recommend their one-of-a-kind chocolate flavoured one.

Bodrum Kitchen is open every day, 9.00am – late, and is located in The Brickworks.