Sydney can be an amazing playground of Middle Eastern culture. From shisha cafes to award-winning restaurants that cover every region, there is history and culture on every corner. Whether you’re craving skewered meats or in the mood lathering everything in hummus, we have rounded up our favourite Middle-Eastern restaurants to explore in Sydney.
- Lillah, Lane Cove
For a modern, yet casual dining setting, Lillah Kitchen is a celebration Middle Eastern cuisine. Built on the concept of being nourishing and not too heavy, Lillah strips away the classics that we know and love, to bring us food that is simple and humble at heart. A good example of their innovative menu, is their range of signature hummus bowls, taking slow cooked or smoked meats and deconstructing them into a healthy and wholesome lunch. We also recommend trying their half chargrilled chicken served with Mejadra rice and pickled heirloom carrot.
- Mezza Train Restaurant & Bar
Narellan | Mascot
Combining the novelty of a sushi train with the traditional flavours of Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine, Mezza Train is exactly what the name suggests. Whether you’re looking for a unique spot for a first date or just up for trying something new, Mezza Train is a fun and interactive experience that features classic salads like tabouleh or fattoush, cold starters like hummus or warak anab and hot dishes made to order like falafel and kafta. And if you’re not up for anything on the train, there’s a selection of mains to choose from like mixed plates with lamb & kafta skewers.
- Zenobia, North Strathfield
Exotic and highly seasonal, Zenobia is the complete dining experience you need that combines the authenticity of Middle Eastern culture with a modern, contemporary setting. Expect your favourite delicacies like lamb, chicken or kafta skewers, lamb shoulder and tagine shanks as well as baklava or mouhalabieh for dessert. If you’re after the Zenobia banquet with complimentary sweets and Lebanese coffee, it’s only $55 per person. For live entertainment, there’s also traditional belly dancers and Argileh for your “hubbly-bubbly” fix.
- Persian Basement, Lane Cove
Owned by the Dastyari Family for 21 years, Persian Basement is an authentic Mediterranean restaurant filled with traditional halal-certified dishes, lavish banquets and belly dancers. Take advantage of their $12-$14 menus between Wednesday’s to Thursday’s which includes a selection of mains like fresh BBQ kababs, slow-cooked marinated chicken, lamb shank or a classic Persian casserole served with saffron rice. If you’re after a feast, bring your friends and family for a generous banquet for only $31-$39 per person. There are also gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan/vegetarian, and lactose-free options available.
- Al Aseel
Greenacre | Alexandria | Fairy Meadow | Jamisontown
As an award-winning Middle-Eastern restaurant, Al Aseel has been a well-known local favourite across Sydney and dubbed as a Global Gem by the Sydney Morning Herald. With good value-for-money food that showcases the Middle East and its exotic flavours, Al Aseel will leave your taste buds asking for more. If you’re looking to try their best dish, we recommend tasting their signature Lemon Garlic Chicken which includes marinated chicken breast pieces tossed in their special lemon garlic sauce.
- Shahrood Restaurant, Ryde
Located in the heart of Ryde, Shahrood Restaurant is all about delivering authentic home-style Persian food and contemporary-flavoured Shisha. With their internationally-experienced chef, Ali, their menu is a reflection of Ali’s hometown in Iran called Shahrood where they are known for growing locally-sourced grapes and pistachios.
If you’re looking to try something new, try their amazing signature Tahchin which is a Persian Baked Rice.
- Cedrus Lebanese, Ryde
Known for char-grilled meats and seafood dishes with a riverfront view, Cedrus is a stylish authentic Lebanese restaurant that embraces the Lebanese culture through tradition, hospitality and abundance. Whether you’re up for an a la carte menu of hot and cold mezza or a banquet filled with all the kafta, hummus and falafel you desire, you can expect quality ingredients sourced from the market and straight onto your plate.
- Souks Mediterranean Street Food, Pyrmont
Combining the flavours and street-style cooking of Greece and Lebanon, Souks is a street food safari adventure that features all your favourite Mediterranean dishes like falafel, tajines, gyros and hummus in one small pocket in Sydney. Explore their menu of mixed pitas, mixed platters and Mezza dishes in their adorably funky space. If you’re a meat lover, take advantage of their lunch deal with gyros, souvlakis and, kaftas all paired with chips and pickles in a pita. If you’re a vego, enjoy their selection of falafel, seasonal grilled veggies and grilled halloumi all paired with mix salad leaves, tomato and pickles