Cuisine: Turkish

Sahara is definitely a Turkish restaurant but there’s something pan-Middle Eastern about the place: the way it opens out onto Burwood Road, the friendliness, the loud music and the relentless pursuit of pleasurable eating and drinking bring to mind Beirut in good times. Go for the karizik mezze plate for two $23.90–$28.90, a pile of falafels, dips, vine leaves and plenty of fresh pide. And then don’t forget how proud they are of their kebabs — try the adana kebab $15 or any of the other meats on the open chargrill. Hanker for something gentler? Lamb shanks are cooked long and slow in red wine and served with pilaf rice $25. Have a night out in Istanbul — just head for Burwood Road.

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