Review: Olive Thyme – Albion, Brisbane

house-made hazelnut baklava and Turkish delight at Olive Thyme

Brisbane’s Olive Thyme wows with innovative Turkish cuisine and warm hospitality

Walking into Olive Thyme, housed in a pretty heritage-listed Albion building in Brisbane, is like falling into a warm hug – polished wooden floors gleam under colourful copper lights, crisp white linens adorn tables, and ornately decorated ceramic plates dance across the walls. Equal parts elegant and homey, there’s even a nook with cushions for little ones to play while parents linger over their meal.

And what a meal it is. In my opinion, this is not only one of the finest Turkish restaurants in Brisbane, but all of Australia. Made with love, Olive Thyme’s traditional Turkish food is crafted with a modern twist by Anatolian Chef Yalcin and served up with a side of Turkish hospitality.

Turkish delight and lychee rose cocktail at Olive Thyme Brisbane

With a menu full of irresistible Turkish delights, which we peruse over cocktails – a decadent gin and cherry-juice based Turkish delight and a seriously sexy lychee rose martini – we decide to ditch the à la carte and dive headfirst into the chef’s menu, a meticulously curated exploration of Olive Thyme’s culinary prowess. It proves a very wise decision as a parade of appetisers arrive, each a revelation of textures and flavours.

Muhammara and black tahini hummus dips at Olive Thyme

Muhammara, a silky purée of chargrilled peppers, fenugreek, garlic and walnut, nestled alongside creamy black tahini hummus, studded with jewel-like chickpeas and sprinkled with hazelnut dukkah, is served up with pillowy village bread, flecked with rosemary and begging to be slathered in the dips.

pillowy village bread, flecked with rosemary at Olive Thyme

Next, a selection of mezze plates showcases Chef Yalcin’s respect for tradition, his willingness to experiment, and his unwavering commitment to using high-quality, local ingredients.

Splendidly squeaky halloumi, topped with slices of spicy beef soujouk and a sweet purée is a crowd pleaser.

soujouk halloumi at Olive Thyme

As is the light and lovely lentil kofte, a soft, savoury lentil patty cradled in a cool, crisp lettuce leaf with a sweet and tangy touch of pomegranate molasses and crunchy fried onions adding an extra layer of texture and flavour.

We are offered a selection of larger plates and settle on two.

Olive Thyme’s signature lamb kofte

The first is Olive Thyme’s signature lamb kofte – succulent little cylinders of ground lamb, seasoned to aromatic perfection, served nestled on fluffy pilaf and sprinkled with sumac and topped with onion, parsley and the creamiest house-made yoghurt.

It’s a dish that embodies the essence of Turkish cuisine – simple ingredients elevated to new heights through masterful technique and a keen understanding of flavour.

Fremantle octopus silken tahini bean purée, slivers of daikon, plump green olives, crunchy walnuts and orange at Olive Thyme Brisbane

But the real MVP is a stunning dish of Fremantle octopus. Braised then marinated in garlic, bay leaves and olive oil and grilled to smokey perfection, it wrestles with a silken tahini bean purée, slivers of daikon, plump green olives and crunchy walnuts, perfectly accented by a burst of fresh orange that adds a pop of colour and sweet acidity.

Without Raff in tow to hoover the plates clean, my dining companion and I feel fabulously full. But when dessert arrives, we are unable to resist.

Hazelnut Baklava at Olive Thyme

First up is a house-made hazelnut baklava, its layers flaky and golden, drizzled with a fragrant syrup. Alongside it sits dainty squares of Turkish delight, its rosewater aroma and delightful chew providing a delightful contrast to the crunchy baklava.

The entire meal is faultless. My only complaint? I don’t visit Brisbane nearly often enough to satisfy my cravings for more.

Olive Thyme 
293 Sandgate Rd,
Albion QLD 4010
PH:(07) 3862 4599



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Hey, I’m Aleney! A mum, award-winning travel writer, magazine editor and gallivanting glutton. He’s Raff, the “boy” in boyeatsworld, and a fearless foodie, adventurer and eco-warrior. Along with his all-singing, all-dancing, all-adventurous sister, Sugarpuff, we’re exploring the world’s colour, culture and cuisine on a food safari for the junior set.

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