To get good Lebanese in Sydney, most people will tell you to head to Lakemba, which is pretty much true - the majority of Lebanese joints closer to the heart of the Sydney are sub-standard or average at best. But the fare at this unassuming Glebe restaurant at the start of Glebe Point Road is exceptional. It's not just the usual gear they do well, either.
Sure, their fouhl (crushed fava beans cooked down and mixed with lemon juice, olive oil and garlic) is damn good, as are their falafels and fatoush (a salad of tomato, cucumber, radish, mint and, among other things, bits of deep-fried pita bread) but if you really want a taste of what chef and co-owner Salwa Loghmi is all about, order dishes like kibeh neyeh - minced raw lamb with burghal and chilli - spread on some flat bread. Think of it a little like steak tartare only lambier and more interesting.
Their grills are excellent (lamb shishkebab is hell salty, beautifully tender and very juicy) too. But again, if you want something you won't find in every restaurant this side of Marrickville, you want to order the lamb mansaf - roast lamb is torn into strips served over pilaf with chopped and toasted pine nuts and cashews scattered over the top. A total conversation stopper (in the best possible way) as it is, the addition of garlicky yoghurt and chilli on top binds the whole thing and gives it an amazing depth of flavour. It is, indeed, the business.
Eating here is a bit like having dinner at your mad bohemian aunt's house - a jumble of furniture, pot plants, hookahs, wall mounted rugs and outside, a rainbow coloured wall mural and plastic covered tables. Service is fine, the food comes in a timely fashion and they're good enough to pack it away for us when we realise our eyes are much bigger than our stomachs.
Live in the area? They also do takeaway, though eating in is part of the fun and kibeh neyeh and falafels don't travel so well. If you're after fine dining, you've come to the wrong place, but for dishes that are as interesting as they are tasty, this one's a winner.
23 Glebe Point Rd
|Opening hours:||Mon-Thurs and Sun 5:30-10:30pm; Fri-Sat 5:30-midnight|