Somer Sivrioglu pioneers vegetarian kebap in his new Tombik restaurant

If you’re dreaming of greasy, meaty late-night doner kebaps (kebabs), look away now. A new player has arrived in Sydney: the cabbage kebap.

Tombik – which takes its name from the puffy bread made in a wood oven – opens this week in Barangaroo, the latest arrival of the new Turkish food wave hitting Sydney.

Co-owner Somer Sivrioglu and group manager Arman Uz have made last-minute adjustments to the cabbage kebap via Zoom (on the menu within fourteen days).

Spread with döner served iskender style with bread, falafel and dips. Photo: Steve Woodburn

“We really wanted the vegetarian (offer) to be strong,” Sivrioglu tells us from Istanbul, where he spends half a year as co-host of MasterChef Turkey

“We tried putting the cabbage leaves on the skewer, but found the best way to put the skewer exactly in the center of the cabbage. We use a different marinade (than for meat). We are still playing but will probably serve it with tahini and chili.”

Tombik is the latest venture of Sivrioglu and his business partner Tarik Koni. The duo recently opened Maydanoz in Sydney’s CBD and are looking for locations to reopen Efendy next year.

Arman Uz, Group Chef, Efendy Group.

Arman Uz, Group Chef, Efendy Group. Photo: Steve Woodburn

Fans of carnivorous döner kebap need not fear, the kitchen has tried everything from Rangers Valley wagyu to lamb belly in their search for the perfect meat plate for the vertical rotisserie.

Quality is a plague for Sivrioglu, who complains about the number of local kebap shops that get their meat ready-to-eat in a factory.

“We’re doing it ourselves; we’ve had a few Turks try it who were very complimentary,” he says.

The smart interior is also a step up for the genre. Tombik is a bar where you can sip a Young Henrys, a Bomonti malt beer from Turkey or shalgam (pickled turnip and chilli juice).

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Tower One, 100 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo,

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