Plots have been hatched, schemes fomented and kebabs in the thousands served over two decades at Ottoman, one of the ACT's best-loved and most "hatted" restaurants.
But the Canberra fine dining institution is now on the move, leaving its long-established Broughton St, Barton address and heading to a new, as-yet-undisclosed location.
"Ottoman Cuisine is moving to an exciting new location and venue," the sign on the door reads.
"We will announce our opening date in 2022."
The Parliamentary Triangle location of the awarded Turkish restaurant, with its unusual, leafy and gazeboed entryway and tall glass windows, minutes stroll from Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Office of National Assessments, AFP HQ and most importantly, that big house on the hill, has ensured a steady flow of high-ranking VIPs, dignitaries and senior public servants.
The phone is off the hook at the restaurant but the owner and chef, Serif Kaya - whose father was also a chef - said in a previous interview that there was no conscious push to make Turkish food high end.
"We never thought about classifying ourselves as fine dining. We just wanted to create good food and show a different side of Turkish cuisine," he said.
"It's a cuisine which is a bridge between Europe and Asia."
In March this year, The Canberra Times' restaurant reviewer Kirsten Lawson returned to the Ottoman and found it was still "en pointe" after all these years.
"You might recall Serif Kaya's disruptive beginnings on the corner in Manuka where Public Bar now stands," she wrote.
"Disruptive because when Kaya started here it was small and deliberately unfancy, bistro style, and with excellent, inventive food off his Turkish grill. He cooked then with elan, as he does now, and by which I intend to mean confidence, style, originality and verve."
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She described the clientele at Ottoman as having "something of a political bent, this close to Parliament House".
"It has private rooms and spaces for when you don't want your meeting on the front page of the Tele, and plenty of space in the large main area for clusters of operatives at the end of a long day on the hill."
A notoriously tough marker, our reviewer awarded the restaurant a generous 16 points out of 20.
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