Time Out says
Lofty Middle Eastern share plates have set up in an airy, glass-walled space in Sydney's CBD
Within the glass doors of Above Par, Clarence Street's new all-day Middle Eastern eatery, traditional Levantine street food finds its place in Sydney's CBD.
Owners Efe Topuzlu and Ozgur Sefkatli opened the doors on their new venture on the same day that lockdown restrictions first came into place in mid-March of 2020. Despite the inauspicious beginnings, Above Par quickly pivoted to offering takeaway, and has since re-opened to offer its spice-laden, Istanbul street-style share plates to its customers for dine-in. Since its recent announcement of a new head chef in Enver Katranci – who was previously the head honcho at Rockpool Dining Group – the eatery's star seems to keep on rising.
There used to be a time when breakfast in the city was a utilitarian affair. It was a meal made up of coffee, ready-made yoghurt and muesli cups (plus bacon and egg rolls for those recovering from client drinks the night before). But Above Par is raising the stakes. Start your day with chilli scrambled eggs with green peppers, tomato and grated haloumi; a triple cheese shakshuka (fetta, haloumi and mozzarella); and even a full blown tasting plate for the indecisive diner, which includes sausage, borek, olives, fetta, tomato, cucumber, a boiled egg, toast, and honeyed kaymak and jam for a sweet finish.
Later on in the day, for lunch and through to late-night dinner, mezze-style sharing dishes are key. Plates like roasted cauliflower on a sweet potato purée and brown butter, haloumi dotted with tart, sweet currants and roasted in honey, a lamb kofte served with broad bean salad are not too heavy and work around each other seamlessly. Grab a basket of just-baked Levant bread to dip into bowls of chilli labne, beetroot muhammara and mutabal, a babaganoush-like roasted eggplant dip. For dessert, the indulgent, flaky katmer pastry is reminiscent of baklava, but arier. Topped with pistachios and filled with clotted cream, the dish is classically served for breakfast in Istanbul along with a cup dark, Turkish coffee – but it works as an ideal sweet finish, for those not game enough for a sugar rush so early in the day.
Above Par is open late for dinner Wednesdays through Saturdays, when you might be craving some dips and mezze before heading home, and until 10pm on other evenings.
215 Clarence Street
|Opening hours:||Mon, Tue 7am-4pm; Wed, Thu 7am-10pm; Fri, Sat 7am-11pm|
%20 Off Total Bill Between 4pm till 6 pm Wed to Sat Terms and Conditions: Maximum of 20 diners. Includes VAT, includes service. Valid For: 1 - 20 People Wed-Sat 4:00PM-6:00PMOffer valid until Sep 2 2119