Cafe Ephesus is a Turkish restaurant in Dublin. As with other food from the Mediterranean, the fare at Cafe Ephesus is fresh and vegetarian-friendly.
The cuisine of Turkey, particularly that from Ephesus, is an interesting mix of cultures. Ephesus is a city that had been ruled by the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, and currently the Turks (although it is a historic site now rather than a proper city). While there are many classic Mediterranean and Greek dishes on the menu, there are additional items that are solely a product of Turkey.
Prices at Cafe Ephesus are reasonable. While dinner prices hardly break the bank, the $9 appetizer, entree and dessert combination is a fantastic deal.
Vegetarian starters on the menu include hummus, stuffed grape leaves, sigara borek (cheese stuffed phyllo cigars), red lentil soup, chopped eggplant salad and an assortment of salads.
I began with the red lentil soup. While lentil soup is a classic dish, the red lentil soup at Cafe Ephesus was an explosion of flavor. The savory lentils were augmented with the flavor of black pepper and garlic. It was a very satisfying dish.
My main course was mucver, a zucchini and potato pancake served with a yogurt dill dip. The creamy dip adds a fat layer of flavor to the dish. The dill adds an herbal undertone to the pancakes, which were delightful.
Dessert was sutlak, a thick, baked rice pudding accented with cinnamon. The dish is reminiscent of creme brulee, but the sweet rice and cinnamon add a different wrinkle to the course.
Service at Cafe Ephesus was evenly paced and competent. The server did a good job of pointing out the vegetarian items on the menu, and he highly recommended the turlu, a Turkish veggie stew.