The best places in Sydney to dine on Middle-Eastern cuisine
Whether you want a gourmet dining experience or a fast food fix - these Sydney restaurants serve a delicious taste of the Middle East.
- January 2020
Spice up your life with a night out at one of these exotic establishments, serving the best tastes of the Middle-East.
Tayim, the Rocks
Housed inside one of the historic buildings typical of the Rocks, Tayim focuses on Middle Eastern classics with an Israeli slant, celebrating Australian produce – think grilled Yamba prawns with harissa. The sandstone interiors are atmospheric while the deck is perfect for cocktails and nibbling on the two-person Tayim Plate, with its smooth hummus, crunchy felafel and pickles.
Nour, Surry Hills
The 2.0 version of this Surry Hills restaurant, with well-regarded chef Ben Williamson at the helm, takes Lebanese dishes conjured up from the family memories of Ibby Moubadder (of My Kitchen Rules fame) and gives them a modern twist. The felafel crumpet is as Insta-worthy as the pastel interiors but there’s more to the menu – wood-fire roasted spatchcock, fried cauliflower with ras el hanout and the best batata harra (spiced fried potatoes) you will have this side of the Levant.
Not everything in this busy hole-in-the-wall in the inner-west suburb of Glebe is completely Middle-Eastern – expect Asian influences in clever fusion dishes such as stir-fried snake beans with Middle Eastern XO and ricotta – but it is all completely delicious. The cocktails work as hard as the food on the flavour front; the vodka-based tea-and-apple scented Wet Rose is a stand-out.
The Barangaroo setting is quintessential Sydney but the food transports you to the alleys of Istanbul (chef Somer Sivrioglu from the acclaimed Efendy is behind Anason). Authenticity shines through not only in the sharing dishes – from grilled octopus to Hunkar Begendi (lamb loin with leek and iskender sauce) – but also in the Turkish wines and, above all, the warm hospitality.
Babylon, Sydney CBD
In ancient Mesopotamia, Babylon was believed to be the largest city in the world. In modern Sydney, the 1200 square metres that is Babylon restaurant is likely the grandest Middle Eastern-focused eating space in the city – complete with a hanging gardens-inspired living wall. The menu features everything from a revelatory cabbage kebab to a traditional lamb manti.
El Jannah, Western Sydney
For a quick toum, hummus and baba ganoush fix on the run, El Jannah’s cheap and cheerful chain of seven charcoal chicken shops, found throughout western Sydney, is the business.
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