I simply love middle eastern cuisine; all their spices, strong flavours, and the way you eat and share the food. Everything seems so relaxed and comfortable. It’s like this type of food is always made by that lovely grandmother and I feel like in every bite, it gives my stomach a lovely hug.
I truly think I have some sort of past connection with that region haha, but anyways let’s talk about serious stuff here: my lunch at El-manara Lebanese Restaurant.
It was a friend’s idea. She is from Jordan and after visiting Lakemba (a well-known Lebanese suburb in Sydney), she invited me to go there again. The restaurant is a small and simple place, but the food my friend, is absolutely fantastic! As we say in Brazil: this is to be eaten praying (yeah, it makes sense in Portuguese :P).
Ah! In case you follow any low carb, paleo or gluten free diet, simply by skipping the pita bread you can find many options that suit these diets. I got some on the pictures below.
We were in four (my friend and her boyfriend, and my hubby), and I might say I was very fortunate to have two specialists with us. They did the order and at first, I thought that it was a lot of food, but silly me. That food was outstanding and I couldn’t stop myself from eating a bit of everything (neither them). 😛
For the mains we got:
- Kafta and Shish Kebab. [GF]
- Fattah – layers of pita bread, chickpeas, and natural yoghurt mixed with lemon juice. According to my friend, this is a traditional breakfast dish in the Middle East.
- Hoummos with meat. [GF]
- Lebanese salad – Tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, lemon juice, garlic & olive oil. [GF]
- Pickles and veggies plate – Olives, tomatoes, chillies, and pickled turnips.
- Cooked kebbeh with garlicky dip.
- Savoury yogurt to drink (surprisingly good). [GF]
For me it’s clear when I really like a place, I crave it! Now, for example, writing this post and seeing these photos, I’m almost getting on a train to go there again.
Also, take advantage to explore the suburb itself, visiting some shops with traditional Lebanese products and stop in a Café for a sweet, maybe some Turkish or Arabic coffee, and why not some mint tea too?
El-manara Lebanese Restaurant: 143 Haldon Street, Lakemba, Sydney, NSW
The menu is available on their website: www.elmanaralebaneserestaurant.com.au