The Middle Feast – Merrylands

Alex: It’s clearly safe to say that food has the power to bring people together, socially, emotionally, and mentally. Perhaps I’m being a little to philosophical here, but I felt very welcomed and as if I had just joined a family as I dined at The Middle Feast in Merrylands.

Similar to my italian heritage, food plays a large part in the lives of lebanese families. It becomes the basis of many gatherings, and on this night I was able to have a taste of all the wonderful and unique things that a lot of my lebanese friends have on a regular basis.

This is just a quick run through of what we ate, there was just too much food to analyse everything so bare with me!

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To start off the bombardment of food, we were brought Khebes mekley, fried lebanese bread that is ear shatteringly crunchy. This is probably one of my favourite things ever! Add a dollop of hummus or Toum and you’re set. _MG_8961

We were also brought a basket of traditional Lebanese Bread. 

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The dips for the night included:

Hummus: Traditional Lebanese dip made from blended chickpeas, tahini sauce, garlic and olive oil. This was a particular standout. It tasted fresh and was very moorish. 
Labni: European style yoghurt and garlic topped with olive oil.
 
Toum: A garlic sauce that always ends up being the winner but no one ever wants it because they don’t want to talk to people. No shame here so I polished one off myself. 
 
Baba ghanouj: Blended fresh eggplant mixed with european yoghurt and garlic and olive oil.
 
Shanklish: with tomato and shallots on top with aged and dried yoghurt mixed with thyme and topped with olive oil

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Because there clearly wouldn’t be enough food for the night, a massive bowl of golden chips couldn’t be disregarded. The chips were perfectly seasoned but tasted a hundred times better once mixed with the dips. I would’ve been happy with just the chips and the toum, that’s how good they were!
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Already almost at tipping point and we weren’t even halfway! The Haloumi with tomato was next but sadly was a bit of a let down. The cheese had no distinct flavour even after adding salt.

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The Cheese samboosik deserve a special mention as these were crowned the greatest mezza of the night. The pastry had a distinct crunch on it’s outer layer but as you bit into it cheese just oozed out leaving a definite smirk on everyone’s faces!

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The Beef Samboosik was obviously very similar to the cheese samboosik texture wise, but in terms of flavour couldn’t compare. The standards were just set too high after the cheesy goodness.

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Fatoush Salad till this day remains to be one of my most favourite Lebanese dish. The dish itself is flavoursome and filled with an array of vibrant bursts of flavour and the added addition of the fried Lebanese bread makes it that much better. _MG_8984

The Tabouli tasted like any other tabouli I’ve had. I tend to always ignore the tabouli when it hits the table anyway but this had some really great flavours. _MG_8985

The Kibbeh for me lacked any real substance. For those who are unaware the giant balls are filled with finely ground minced beef. They were a little on the dry side, so I took a few bites and left them to the side.

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Now we get the mixed platter of Kafteh, Chicken and Lamb on a bed of lebanese bread and onion. I was taken aback at how much food was sitting on the table. My eyes widened and I just stared in awe and just wondered where to start. The chicken was by the far with the winner of the three. It was moist and had that great smoky barbecue flavour. Tip: Get a piece of lebanese bread, lather it with toum, add the chicken and you’re set.
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Soujouk is traditional beef sausages that is marinated with lemon, mixed spices served with chilli and boy was this something else. Never have I ordered something this unique at a lebanese restaurant and this is possibly my new favourite dish. The sausage itself was big and hearty and as you took a bite it was like a combustion of flavours that meshed together so perfectly.

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A fantastic Lebanese experience that is definitely a must to try out, and yes for the next two days I was eating Lebanese because there was that much food leftover!

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Thank you to the lovely staff and owners at The Middle Feast for your wonderful hospitality.

Until next time

Alex Squadrito

The Middle Feast on Urbanspoon

Author: forfoodssake

A Sydney food blog.

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