Beachwood Cafe’s ten tables are scattered across the footpath just off the main street in Yamba, and could be called a hidden gem, except the cafe is well marked on the gourmet traveller’s map. Owner Sevtap Yuce worked for Bill Granger before opening her first Beachwood in Angourie in 1994. Now the author of two cookbooks on Turkish cooking, she opens the cafe for breakfast and lunch, writing up the day’s menu on a blackboard at the front. Sevtap’s focus is on using local and seasonal produce resulting in robust dishes bursting with vegetables and bright flavours.
Turkish food is perfect for casual dining and sharing. For lunch we shared the roast duck salad with pumpkin, beetroot and burghal; some dolmades with a surprising chilli kick and leek and potato fritters. By then we had started on an eating frenzy and ordered large from the freshly made cakes and desserts. A rhubarb and rosewater cake, a raspberry tart with fresh cream and a prune and almond cake plus a couple of flat whites later, we were done.
After such delicious food, I, of course, bought the book and have been cooking from it ever since. You need to stock up on pomegranate molasses and dukkah, but otherwise the ingredients are accessible. First up was the warm lentil salad with chunks of beetroot and pumpkin. Easily put together and lifted with the pomegranate molasses and dukkah. I then tried the roast duck salad, but cheated by cooking a duck breast rather than roasting a whole duck. The salad is bulked out by burghul, beetroot and pumpkin and tossed with chilli, mint and coriander (as well as some of the ubiquitous pomegranate molasses).
I am on such a roll, I already have lamb chops marinating in oregano and olive oil in the fridge for dinner. So for my long suffering friends, prepare for a summer of Turkish meze.
22 High Street, Yamba
Open Tues to Sunday for breakfast and lunch