After three drama-filled years at university, I have finally made it to the end zone. The final number. The last chapter.
I have finished! And what better way to celebrate than a Lebanese feast with the fam-bam?
Arriving right on 7:30, we were shown to our small table and were greeted with some dukkah in oil and Leb bread.
There’s no such thing as a celebration without wine, and I had brought out the big guns. Two years ago, I visited a winery on the outskirts of Hobart, Tasmania called Meadowbank (now Frogmore Wines). Apparently, it’s since gone downhill, but their 2010 Pinot Gris was delicious so I bought a bottle. It sat in my room for 2 years, waiting for an appropriate occasion. Luckily, it still tasted delicious!
The basis of Lebanese food is sharing, so we ordered a number of little dishes. However, it took half an hour for the waiter to take our order, despite our many attempts to get his attention. Not the best.
The first was Smokey Baba Ganouge ($13). The emphasis is on smokey…
I tried to get a picture of the fried potato with coriander ($12) but I didn’t make it in time. It was too good.
Bec had given me a list of recommendations, and one of them was the Kibbe ($16.50). Filled with lamb mince, it had very familiar flavours – we narrowed it down to my grandmother’s meat patties!
The roast pumpkin hommous ($14) finally made it out – it was good, but not better than the original!
Tabouli ($13) was a given.
Under all that sauce are some very delicious Arak Prawns ($17), spiced in sumac. The sauce had just the right amount of flavour and there were enough prawns for everyone to have a taste.
Finally, out came the Moorish Chicken ($20), a yummy combo of marinated chicken, Spanish onion and Leb bread. It was one of my favourites.
Not content with just mains, dessert was on the cards. Mum and I ordered Medjool dates with cream and orange blossom ($4). Even my brother agreed they were delicious. Mum also got a baklava ($3.50). Because, well, why not?
The restaurant is in a small space and to be honest, they probably have one too many tables in there. We were incredibly close to the people next to us, and it made for some awkward times. The service was also sub-par, taking forever to bring us water, take our orders and generally catching their attention. For some reason, they only had one waiter on a busy Friday night. Unfortunately, it detracted from the whole experience.
That said, the food is fantastic. It is fresh, well-cooked and super fast (when you can order). The flavours are also subtle and delicious. However, the bad service was a bit of a turn-off. In comparison to Al Mustafa in Glebe, which has just as good food at similar prices, it makes a difference.
When I mentioned this to Bec, she said she’s always had a good response. So maybe it was just us! It’s definitely not a reason not to try it at least once. Lebanese is great sharing food, and Emma’s produces food that is worth sharing with everyone!