Introducing Republiq, South Sydney’s newest Middle Eastern gem.
Did you miss out on that European holiday this year? For those of us who are stuck in Sydney in winter, thankfully there’s a few gems to help us travel the world without having to jump on the plane. Brighton-Le-Sands, which is only 20 minutes south of the city, has gained Republiq Bar and Grill, bringing the Middle East and Mediterranean directly to our doorstep. Right on the water, the restaurant is a perfect mix of family-friendly and adult only. At Republiq, there’s a trendy upstairs shisha bar and the more child-friendly restaurant downstairs with a fish tank taking centre-stage in the dining room. There’s outdoor seating on the beachside for the warmer weather too.
Arabic tiles bring the restaurant to life in this exotic setting, along with the diverse and delicious food. Head Chef Bektas Özcan (ex Efendy & Anason), has brought his extensive knowledge of unique flavours to the menu. There’s inspiration from specific countries; Spain, Morocco, Greece, Lebanon and Turkey. The menu is a bit confusing with all the different countries, but there’s more choice to suit everyone.
“We’ve incorporated the Mediterranean flavours brought to the Middle East by the ancient spice trail; the dishes are a combination of street food, local techniques and traditional recipes,” clarifies Chef Bektas.
To name a few specialties at Republiq, we’ll start with Greece. There’s flatbread with olive oil and pomegranate molasses ($2) and also the most delicious saganaki made with haloumi, served with honey lemon dressing and herbs ($16).
From Lebanon, there’s fried cauliflower with dukkah and tahini dressing ($12) and also a grilled meat tray with mixed meats, grilled vegetables, pickles, freekah pilaf and also lavash bread ($34pp). Morocco features a traditional lamb neck tagine ($29) and also a cous cous salad ($10). From Spain, the fiesta plate is a nice share entrée with Spanish Jamon, olives, burrata, grapes and grissini ($22).
Last, but certainly not least on the menu at Republiq features Turkey. Our favourites definitely lie here with the grilled octopus with herb pesto, served on a block of rock salt ($22) and the specialty Ali Nazik house kebab, which is lamb backstrap, wrapped in ketafi pastry, served with eggplant begendi, pistachios and drizzled with burnt butter ($29).
The desserts aren’t limited by country, but there is a beautiful range from all destinations. Try baklava with kaymak, pistachio and orange Persian floss ($13), Knefe with honey and pistachio ($16) and also the tagine m’hencha with cezerye, walnut and chocolate sauce ($18) to name only three.
Republiq takes you on a traditional experience of Middle Eastern modernism with a nod to old world charm. Head in between Monday – Thursday: 5.30pm – 12am, Friday – Saturday: 11.30am – 3pm & 5.30pm – 12am and Sunday: 9am – 3pm & 5.30pm – 10pm. Republiq is open for lunch on Friday – Sunday and now offers breakfast on Sundays.