First Look: Bodrum Kitchen

by Metro Magazine / 20 November, 2015


Words by Alice Harbourne, photos by Ken Downie. 

 

I grew up in Yorkshire and no night out was complete without a 3am stop at La Bodrum, a pizza/burger/kebab shop, where chips and gravy could be eaten alongside a kofte kebab for a mere £4.50. It were right good.

The experience wasn't exactly married in my mind to the white-walled, sun-splashed Turkish port city, Bodrum. Neither was LynnMall, but things have changed.

Part of a $39 million mall expansion, recently opened dining lane The Brickworks is home to Alex Isik's new Turkish and Greek-inspired all-day eatery, Bodrum Kitchen.

It's a crisp white and azure-clad restaurant, rooted in the community of New Lynn. That's how Isik puts it when we chat over lunch. He and his wife Nigar moved to New Zealand 14 years ago, with less than $250 to their name. Alex got a job washing dishes at a New Lynn restaurant, and the pair lived in a $100-a-week unit nearby. In three years, they'd saved enough to open their first business, and the Mozaik chain of cafes Alex still manages, was born.

As time wore on, Alex became bored with the franchise formula, and Deco Eatery in Titirangi and Nomad in Point Chevalier (both opened last year) were created as "concept restaurants" to demonstrate his strong eye for design and executive chef Nigar's passion for global cuisines.

Alex's older sister Feriza collaborated with Nigar on Bodrum's Turkish/Greek fusion menu. "I told her all of my favourite things we ate when we were children, and she turned it into a menu," Alex explains. His family were rural farmers, and while he says they were poor growing up, they never wanted for home-grown food, which they'd share in the now-fashionable "small plates" style.

Alex generously ordered a selection of dishes for me to sample, insisting I try the stuffed Istanbul mussels, cauliflower fritters with ezme, capsicum dolma, sivas kofta, Adana kebab and shakshuka - his pride is expansive. The fluffy fritters were a highlight, along with the homemade, mildly spiced Adana kebab with creamy tzatziki. There was a slight absence of fresh greens and lighter, citrus flavours, but I daresay this could be remedied with alternative ordering.

With four businesses in a 4km radius, the locals know Alex. From time to time he offers them free coffee from beautiful handmade cups, presented on bright blue evil-eye plates handmade down the road at Steiner Ceramics.

The protective, Turkish evil eye was a key inspiration for the interior's design and proliferates, from an installation of 150 hanging glass ornaments above the central bar (Alex wanted 1500 but the ceiling couldn't take the weight) to lapel pins worn by staff. With furniture imported directly from Bodrum, coffee roasted on site and handmade Turkish Delight, made in front of customers by Greek chef Nada, Alex's attention to detail is impressive.

Dining at Bodrum Kitchen is transporting - you couldn't feel further from LynnMall - but you still feel the warmth of a restaurant strongly connected to its community.

Bodrum Kitchen
The Brickworks, LynnMall
3058 Great North Rd
New Lynn
Bodrum Kitchen on Facebook

[booking_form]

Latest

Fighting fast fashion: the rise of ethical consumerism
95853 2018-09-25 00:00:00Z Business

Fighting fast fashion: the rise of ethical consume…

by Mina Phillips

In the era of fast fashion, what can consumers do to ensure what they're buying hasn't been made by exploited workers?

Read more
Naseby's chilliest night means a rare opportunity for curling
96697 2018-09-25 00:00:00Z Sport

Naseby's chilliest night means a rare opportunity …

by Guy Frederick

Weather conditions have to be perfect for an outdoor curling match – last winter, for the first time in seven years, Naseby delivered.

Read more
Students walk out of Hamilton high school over principal's truancy comments
96723 2018-09-24 14:06:35Z Education

Students walk out of Hamilton high school over pri…

by RNZ

More than 100 students walked out of a Hamilton high school in protest after the principal said truants are more likely to wind up being a rape victim

Read more
Colin Craig drops damages claim against former press secretary
96717 2018-09-24 13:10:01Z Politics

Colin Craig drops damages claim against former pre…

by RNZ

Colin Craig has withdrawn his claims for damages against his former press secretary Rachel MacGregor but is still suing her for defamation.

Read more
PM in New York: Ardern's first speech focuses on lifting children from poverty
96691 2018-09-24 07:54:36Z Politics

PM in New York: Ardern's first speech focuses on l…

by Chris Bramwell

Jacinda Ardern has used her first speech in the US to recommit the government to making New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child.

Read more
Give Kate A Voice: Bringing Kate Sheppard's speeches to life
96352 2018-09-24 00:00:00Z History

Give Kate A Voice: Bringing Kate Sheppard's speech…

by Noted

Famous Kiwi women read the powerful words of Kate Sheppard, who fought for the right for women to vote.

Read more
Ladies in Black – movie review
96686 2018-09-24 00:00:00Z Movies

Ladies in Black – movie review

by Russell Baillie

This nicely nostalgic female coming-of-age tale set in a Sydney department store almost sings.

Read more
A Southern man goes for gold in Garston growing hops
95518 2018-09-24 00:00:00Z Small business

A Southern man goes for gold in Garston growing ho…

by Mike White

Nelson and Motueka are well known for their hops but Garston hops are starting to be noticed by brewers.

Read more