Night life in real life? No zoom, it’s not virtual, yes people… some live entertainment is coming back to the CBD, and Above Par are the team behind some very cool mid-eastern house vibes.
Co-owners Efe Topuzlu and Ozgur Sefkatli have been hearing their customers say, we want to have fun and they want to be entertained which is why they have launched live DJ sets Thursday through Saturday.
While not our first rodeo at Above Par , a few things have changed since last here, the venue now wears pink hues, cherry blossoms feature alongside a plush blush lounge and the entire room is decorated with wine. Yep it’s our kind of place. Efe and the crew go next level on a warm welcome, it’s literally personal, playful and attentive. DJ JacobK in the courtyard is playing soft house grooves that elevate with mid-eastern sounds, crystal acoustics inside mean you aren’t missing anything if you are dining in the mid-level.
There are some creative Med-inspired cocktails to begin the evening. The ‘Seaside’ comes highly recommended by our neighbours at the next table, it’s a full 90’s tropical white rum and malibu number. The Mediterranean Margarita with rosemary infused tequila and olives really does kick things off. While it’s not legit to dance with your feet yet, learning to chair dance has it’s upsides because you won’t want to tear yourself away from the lavish Levantine menu to feast from.
The hottest things since ‘puffy’ bread is, is well, the puffy bread. It’s 2021 and flats are out, the bigger, the better. Tear open the steaming hot pocket and make use of it with the delectable dips, the smokey babaganoush and the signature ‘Atom’ is a creamy, rich Turkish style yoghurt with pinenuts and burnt butter. Add a side of crispy savoury kibbe and honey drizzled haloumi and you have the perfect mezze.
As you set the cocktail glasses aside and start to think about mains, consider going full Turkish with the reds. The Kayra Bogazkere, not a grape variety we know here, is mid-way between shiraz and cab sav, it is right on for the mains. The chicken shish-kebab, charred but tender from its marinade is served with textured bulgur pilaf and tangy pickled chillies. The fried cauliflower is a great accompaniment, half of the flower is charred atop warm hummus, dressed in zaatar and sweet raisin puree.
They of course have pastries and Turkish coffee on offer for dessert. The star of the night was the Kunefe, a buttered pastry with cheese and pistachio, sweet but not too sweet, totally moorish.
Above Par is Mediterranean magic end to end, hospitality, cuisine, wine and they are keen to entertain us, so let them!
215 Clarence Street, Sydney
Live music 6pm- late Thursday to Saturdays