Feriza's: Wynyard Quarter's new Turkish restaurant

by Kate Richards / 17 July, 2017

Feriza's opulent interior. Photo /supplied

No expense has been spared transforming short-lived restaurant Kindred into the kind of opulent dining room worthy of a feature on Rich Kids of Instagram. From the flashy, central chandelier imported from Turkey, to a 1.8-metre-high Giles Smith original painting of the owner, and a show-stopping rose-gold oven craftily placed front and centre in the open kitchen, Feriza’s oozes extravagance.

But for the restaurant’s creator, Alex Isik, no amount of money could be too much, because Feriza’s is a gift to his elder sister of the same name; a thank you for giving up many of her dreams to help Alex save the money he needed to start a new life in New Zealand. When Alex moved here in 2001, Feriza stayed in Turkey, working as a patissiere and banker to save for her own plane ticket while Alex opened various hospitality ventures including Ponsonby Central’s Miss Istanbul.

Inspired by a childhood spent cooking recipes from their grandmother’s home cookbook, every object here is meant to evoke a fond family memory. Serving trays are a reminder of traditional Turkish hospitality, as are copper water jugs. Jewel-like tumblers and geometric-tiled flooring reflect their colourful homeland. The urns placed above the bar and the pass are replicas of the ones Alex’s mum used to jokingly put him inside when he was little. You mightn’t notice any of this, but Feriza will. 

The food, a lengthy mezze-focussed affair, mirrors another Turkish tradition – generosity. “People aren’t meant to look at the menu,” says Alex – though they can if they choose to. He wants guests to ask, ‘feed me’ and be waited on without having to think, giving them space to relax and more time to focus on enjoying their friends’ company.

One of the menu items which Feriza and Alex are particularly excited about are the gozleme –traditional savoury flatbread, made with yufka dough, which come with various fillings. Typically eaten throughout the day, this was the first thing the pair learned to cook and is a staple of Turkish cuisine.

There is a traditional drinks list, including raki – a grape-based spirit popular in Turkey – which Alex will be enthusiastically encouraging guests to try. He hopes dinners turn into long nights at Feriza’s with the same big hugs, loud voices and merriment he remembers from being at home.

Feriza's Kitchen, Gozleme & Bar 
7/12 Jellicoe Street,
Wynyard Quarter
ferizas.co.nz

Latest

Mr Wiki: Mike Dickison is NZ's first Wikipedian at large
96030 2018-09-18 00:00:00Z Tech

Mr Wiki: Mike Dickison is NZ's first Wikipedian at…

by Elisabeth Easther

The entomologist will work on outreach programmes and recruiting editors to improve the sparse coverage of New Zealand topics.

Read more
Contemporary new cafe, Browne St, opens in Avondale
96454 2018-09-17 15:08:36Z Auckland Eats

Contemporary new cafe, Browne St, opens in Avondal…

by Alex Blackwood

New cafe, Browne St, combines Avondale's heritage with a modern fit-out.

Read more
The women's suffrage movement wasn't only a fight for the right to vote
96444 2018-09-17 12:23:48Z History

The women's suffrage movement wasn't only a fight …

by Sally Blundell

Suffrage was a stepping stone to other major social reforms for women.

Read more
Euthanasia: Australia is on the move
96401 2018-09-17 09:51:18Z Social issues

Euthanasia: Australia is on the move

by Graham Adams

Anyone keen to see assisted dying laws passed in New Zealand will be heartened by the increasing momentum of campaigns across the Tasman.

Read more
Broadcaster Heather du Plessis-Allan stands by her Pacific 'leeches' claim
96392 2018-09-17 06:30:40Z Social issues

Broadcaster Heather du Plessis-Allan stands by her…

by Colin Peacock

How some New Zealanders regard their Pacific neighbours was laid bare last week with comments from a radio host that she 'doubled down' on.

Read more
The rise of the German far right doesn't chime with Berlin's open-mindedness
96328 2018-09-17 00:00:00Z World

The rise of the German far right doesn't chime wit…

by Bill Ralston

Bill Ralston writes from Berlin, where the far-right party Alternative for Germany has failed to take root.

Read more
Why enjoyment and fitness rather than weight loss should be your exercise goals
95992 2018-09-17 00:00:00Z Health

Why enjoyment and fitness rather than weight loss …

by Donna Chisholm

Exercise physiologist Matt Wood has these suggestions to keep up your muscle strength.

Read more
The English are masters of irony – just look at Jeremy Corbyn
96323 2018-09-16 00:00:00Z World

The English are masters of irony – just look at Je…

by Andrew Anthony

It was recently revealed that Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said that Zionists “don’t understand English irony”, which is kind of ironic.

Read more