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Lifestyle : Focus on the Middle East 2011
1HERSA1 0017 AG4289447AA-300811 9555 5434 4/595 Darling St . Rozelle hangry.com.au www.ottomancuisine.com.au Lunch Wed - Fri 12noon - 3pm Dinner Tues - Sat 6-10pm Pier 2/13 Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay Sydney Ph: 9252 0054 Make a trip for delicious Turkish cuisine unlike any you've ever tasted whilst admiring the spectacular view. Catering available for all events Belfield Plaza, Shop 5, 29 Burwood Road, Belfield Ph: 02 9742 3341 www.allysons.com.au Tantalising Lebanese Cuisine Come to Allysons and try the tantalising flavours of our Authentic homemade Lebanese Cuisine. Guaranteed to keep you coming back for more. Delicious Holidays! Let us design your North Africa or Eastern Mediterranean holiday Tel: 02 9519 1380 Res:1800 044519 www.internationaldestinations.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org Look out for our 2012 Turkey brochure out soon! Morocco Egypt Jordan Israel Turkey Tunisia There is a lot of quality Middle Eastern food in Sydney.' Mikee Collins, Alira Transformed . . . ocean trout with spiced tahina and shaved fennel and almond salad from Embers; (right) Alira owner Mikee Collins. Photos: Marco Del Grande Middle Eastern food by giving it a contemporary edge. ''There is a lot of quality Middle Eastern food in Sydney but it is often found in quaint restaurants in the outer western suburbs,'' he says. ''We've tried to reinvigorate many of the dishes.'' Among them is the DIY lamb rump sandwich, or what Collins has affectionately dubbed a ''posh kebab''. The $36 ''kebab'', which serves two, is presented as a 400-gram lamb rump, marinated in yoghurt, turmeric, ras el hanout and garlic. The tabouli is replaced with watercress and accompaniments include pickled onions and warm smoked eggplant puree. ''Essentially it's a deconstructed kebab -- people can put it together however they like,'' Collins says. Alira's signature dishes include fried cauliflower salad. ''Our modern twist on that is we soak the raisins in tea and use pine nuts, coriander, parsley and sheep's milk labne,'' Collins says. Baked eggs with tomato and spicy chorizo are a feature of many Middle Eastern restaurants and one of the best known is Kazbah, which has outlets at Balmain, Darling Harbour and Top Ryde. The general manager of Kazbah, Vlademir Milevski, believes it is popular because it is different from most other breakfast options. The biggest seller, the breakfast tagine of lamb mince, sucuk, spinach, roast capsicum, roast tomato, caramelised onion, feta, eggs and Turkish toast, was invented by accident, he says. ''It went from being served to the staff for breakfast before the start of service to being the most popular dish in Kazbah.'' Of course, traditional-style Middle Eastern restaurants remain a drawcard, many based in Sydney's western suburbs such as Cafe d'Or at Burwood, Yum Yum Lebanese at Punchbowl and Al Aseel, which opened at Greenacre 11 years ago and now has outlets in Lakemba, Surry Hills and, from the middle of next month, Newtown. As is typical of the culture, meals at these restaurants are designed to be shared -- mezze, the tapas of the Middle East -- where diners work their way from appetisers such as plump green olives, dips and bread through a variety of larger dishes such as fish and meat skewers. The manager of Al Aseel at Surry Hills, David Conceicao, believes Sydneysiders are becoming more adventurous and keen to try new flavours. ''They also want a cheap night out,'' he says. ''Our most expensive dish is $25.'' good living The Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday, August 30, 2011 17
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