the Yagiz story
Since arriving in Australia in 2009, chef Murat Ovaz has worked in top kitchens of NSW and Melbourne, including with Colin Fassnidge at ‘Four in Hand’ and as Head Chef of Melbourne’s Turkish restaurant, ‘Tulum’. Yagiz is his first solo project, named after his greatest influence, his grandfather. It was recently awarded a prestigious AGFG Hat after being open for just 10 weeks.
Ovaz says "Much like classic Turkish food, Yagiz brings people together. I wanted to create an unpretentious atmosphere, where refined dining could be enjoyed in a warm and vibrant atmosphere with no fuss. Expect to experience all the flavours of Turkey with a modern, unique twist."
While indulging in the theatre of the open kitchen, diners can select from a unique wine list developed by award-winning consultant sommelier Christian Maier, who says Turkish wines are often overlooked in Australia and looks forward to introducing guests to indigenous varietals, along with personal favourites from across the globe.
Maier says "The wine list at Yagiz is open-minded and nonconformist, emphasizing smaller producers and lesser known wines. Its collection spans the world, with an emphasis on Turkish wines, and Australian and European references for good measure."
Yagiz seats 60 in the dining room and 30 at the bar, and also features an adjoining 14-seat private dining room
About Murat Ovaz
Murat Ovaz commenced his career in a Five Star hotel on the Eastern Coast of Turkey as a kitchen-hand. After his military service he moved to Istanbul and his first real restaurant job at famous Greek restaurant ‘Zarifi’. He rapidly moved up the ranks to Junior Sous Chef in just 14 months, then moved to the highly respected French restaurant ‘Park Samdan’. After one year, Ovaz joined Istanbul’s biggest nightclub ‘Reina’, one of the most respected places in Istanbul until the recent terrorist attack.
Keen for a change and to learn English and improve his cooking skills, Ovaz moved to Australia in 2009. His Australian cooking career began at the Newcastle pub ‘Lass O’ Gowrie’, where he leased out the kitchen for a 12 month period and introduced Turkish food to Newcastle. He then moved to Newcastle’s only hatted restaurant ‘Bacchus’ as a senior chef de partie.
A move to Sydney followed, to work for one of Sydney’s most well known chefs, My Kitchen Rules star Colin Fassnidge. Here he improved his cooking and management skills under Colin’s mentorship and guidance. “Four In Hand was definitely the best kitchen I ever worked in. Everything was right; cooking techniques, work pressure, attitude. I loved working with Colin,” says Ovaz.
Seduced by Melbourne and keen to take on another challenge, Ovaz took on the role of Head Chef of new Balaclava restaurant ‘Tulum’. After 10 months, he decided to open Yagiz.