The owner of Turkish eatery Babajan, Kirsty Chiaplias, has opened a second location in Melbourne’s CBD on Little Collins Street.
After six years operating the original North Carlton site, the chef and founder is excited about the business’ recent expansion.
“Pre-pandemic I wanted to change the business, and funnily enough, despite all the stress and pressure, COVID allowed me to do that,” says Chiaplias.
Much like North Carlton— which switched from dine-in to takeaway in 2020 — Babajan on Little Collins offers Middle Eastern food available for takeaway only.
“Many think that takeaway is quick and easy, when really it allows us to focus on the food more,” adds Chiaplias.
“The pressure on plating and presentation is eased, and we get more time to focus on what we’re creating. There’s a real craft and beauty to takeaway.”
Chiaplias will be serving up familiar favourites such as borek, which come in flavours ranging from silver beet and feta to lamb and potato.
New menu items include a Middle Eastern sesame seed-encrusted bread called simit which can be served with whipped ricotta, hazelnuts and quince, eggplant Aleppo, cheddar and pastirm or scrambled egg and harissa.
Guests can order sandwiches filled with roast chicken, pine nuts, preserved lemon and stuffing; oregano and marash field mushroom, braised lamb and eggplant kofte as well as spinach and confit ocean trout.
The dessert offering encompasses white chocolate and date lamingtons, walnut baklava, banana and tahini loaf and a chocolate halva tart.
Retail products are available for customers to purchase and take home.
Babjan is open Monday to Friday from 7.00am until 3.00pm.