In Sydney, gozleme is ubiquitous. If you're heading to a suburban market or festival, there's now almost an expectation of a family gozleme stall peddling the pastry. In Melbourne, Taylan Aksoy was keen to offer an education, opening Göz City a few years ago to give locals a taste of Turkish village street food.
Göz City might just be the best place to try gozleme in Melbourne. The tender Turkish hot pocketcomes with four fillings here: mince (seasoned lamb and beef), cheese and spinach, herb and chicken, and mushroom and vegetables, but weekly specials welcome other ingredients like sujuk and caramelised onion.
Aksoy’s mother, Nez Gonullu, is the mastermind behind the recipes and an admitted traditionalist; it was important to her to keep Turkish cuisine alive and kicking, so she ended her 30–year hairdressing career to go into business with her son.
"The pastry needs to be very, very fine, almost so that it's see-through," Gonullu says. "It takes a lot of work and a lot of skill to get that pastry evenly in one sheet".
Many other venues don't have the time or space to make gozleme by hand, according to Gonullu, and instead rely on machines. Gonullu's mother is an expert in the craft, throwing pinches of flour into the dough as she rolls it using an oklava (a thin Turkish rolling pin) to produce an entire batch at lightning speed.
"We don't give out cutlery here. Why would you eat street food that way?”
A dab of yoghurt is recommended but due to the pastry's refined balance of taste, any extra salt or pepper would be shaken on in vain. Do, however, try the Aleppo pepper sitting on each table: it's dried, crushed chilli husks which Gonullu says won’t give you the same digestive issues as other chillis might.
The family has since opened another outlet on Lonsdale Street, with soups, pide and salads also on offer. Coffee is supplied by Melbourne bean royalty, Five Senses, and there are imported drinks such as Turkish sparkling water, soft drinks and beer. Turkish delight and baklava are also available.
If you’re into Where’s Wally-style challenges, look out for the Turkish 'evil eye’ motif hidden in various places around the shop. Aside from being an age-old charm against the evil eye 'curse', it’s also a visual pun: ‘goz’ also means ‘eye’ in Turkish.
Lead image: Instagram.com/gozcity
Göz City is open Mon to Fri, 7pm–4pm.
50 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, VIC
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