25 September 2010

Lebanon and Beyond: Lebanese, Randwick (3 Sept 2010)

187 Alison Road, Randwick NSW 2031
Phone: (02) 9326 5347

Popular Lebanese in Randwick

With the new renovations complete Lebanon and Beyond is at least 3 times larger now but you'll still need to book a table, especially on a Friday and Saturday night when they always seem full. To keep the ordering simple you could go for their Chef's or Vegie Banquet for only $28 but if you're a bit more adventuress then pick you own dishes and you might end up paying about the same and hopefully trying a few more things if you have a large group of 8 or more. Our dining party of 7 ended up paying $25 each and we probably over ordered by 1-2 dishes because the portion sizes were fairly generous. The complimentary appetiser of flavoured corn kernals, pickled cucumber and olives will get your taste buds started while perusing the menu. The moist Tabbouli ($17 large) is a must with a Mix Dip Plate ($20 large) of hommous, babaganoush and labne. The babaganoush could be more smokey and robust in flavour for my liking but all goes well with the Lebanese bread as a starter. The crispy shelled Lady Fingers ($12) are presented differently to what I was expecting but makes them even more appetising. My search for Sydney's best Falafel ($10, 5 pieces) still resides at Jasmin's in Punchbowl but they're freshly cooked here and fairly large — I tend to prefer slightly smaller falafels so there's more balance of the outer crunchy shell with the inner minced chic peas.

The Bahtra ($17 large) of warm potato salad is enormous and we should have ordered just a small, even for 7 people. Spinach Pies ($12) are cut like the lady fingers but the tables preference was the lady fingers. Kafta ($18, 6 pieces) was fairly moist and tasty as hoped and Garlic Chicken ($20, 6 pieces) comes with garlic sauce which isn't as strong as what you'll find at Summerland in Bankstown. I really enjoy the dressing on the fresh side salad it comes with. Eggplant cooked with mince lamb ($16) comes with pine nuts and spices in a chef's special sauce. It's quite delicious and one of my favourites on the night. Lebanese-Cabbage rolls ($14) are pretty juicy and filled with rice, mince meat and spicers, cooked in a special lemon based sauce. With little room left I probably didn't appreciate the Shawarma ($20) as much as the others did.

For dessert the Turkish Delight ($4) will get you two pieces of a sugary hit and the Backlawa ($3) is nice although they don't quite match the Efendy versions I prefer. The large bowl of Bouza ($8) containing three generous scoops of Lebanese ice cream looks strangely similar to Neapolitan ice cream with the added joy of crushed pistachios. To finish you can't go wrong with the Cinnamon tea ($2.50) or Orange Blossom tea ($2.50) which is clear and funnily looks just like hot water. The Lebanese coffee ($2.50) is somewhat bitter, slightly gritty and pretty strong as expected. Service was friendly and surprisingly efficient for such a large restaurant located in 3 separate rooms. Toilets are located in the central hotel corridor which separates the dining rooms.

PROS: Nice renovations, Decent portions, Friendly and efficient service, Reasonable prices when sharing dishes in a group
CONS: Very popular so book ahead, Street parking can be limited but it's free
MUST TRY: Tabbouli, Lady Fingers, Eggplant cooked with mince lamb

Complimentary appetisers

Tabbouli: Lebanese traditional salad consisting of parsley, tomato, onion, crushed wheat, mint in a lemon and olvie oil dressing ($17 large)

Lebanese bread

Mix Dip Plate: Combination of hommous, babaganoush and labne ($20 large)

Lady Fingers: Delicious pastry filled with mince meat, pine nuts and tasty cheese, fried and served on a bed of lettuce ($12)

Falafel: Spicy balls consisting of minced chic peas and fava beans, special herbs and spices, deep fried and topped with tahini sauce, tomato, parsley, pickles and paprika ($10)

Bahtra: Warm potato salad sautéed with onion and garlic, spices and coriander, in a lemon dressing ($17 large)

Spinach Pies: Delicious pastry filled with spinach, tomato, onion, carrot and fetta cheese, fried and served on a bed of lettuce ($12)

Kafta: Chargrilled mince lamb with parsley, onion and spices. Served with salad and tahini sauce on side ($18)

Garlic Chicken: Chunks of skewed [skewered] chicken breast, marinated and chargrilled. Served with garlic sauce and salad ($20)

Sheikh El Meishi: Eggplant cooked with mince lamb, pine nuts and spices in a chef's special sauce. Served with rice ($16)

Malouf Bel Lahme: Lebanese-Cabbage rolls filled with rice, mince neat [meat] and spicers, cooked in a special lemon based sauce ($14)

Shawarma: Thin strips of lamb, marinated and chargrilled with onion and tomato, topped with tahini sauce, parsley, pickles, tomato and paprika ($20)

Turkish Delight: Two pieces of rich nougat choice of rose or almonds ($4)

Backlawa: Traditional sweet consisting in layers of fillo pastry, filled with crushed nuts and topped with crushed pistachios ($3)

Bouza: Three scoops of Lebanese ice cream topped with crushed pistachios ($8)

Cinnamon tea ($2.50)

Orange Blossom tea ($2.50)

Small cup of Lebanese coffee ($2.50)

Bill $175 for 7 people, $25 each, complimentary chiclets

2nd dining room

Through to 3rd dining room

Wall feature

Light decoration

Designed for comfort?

Alison Hotel corridor between dining rooms and through to toilet


Salt and Pepper shakers — so cute!

Qantas teaspoon?


Ladybird said...

Looks like a wonderful feast! I love feasts like that - they're perfect when there's a group of people eating... I'm getting hungry just looking at these pictures!

Dolly said...

such a cute menu hahaaa

yum dippssss .. <3

thang @ noodlies said...

yum, go the mixed dips.. there seemed to be so much food, but all so cheap in the end!

Madam Wu said...

I'm going there just for the QANTAS cutlery!

green been food said...

yum - looks delicious and seriously reasonable! love the whole run down too.

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

Bum indents?! Awesome...

That's a lot of food for that price - good stuff

Lo- said...

Love the chairs! Add that to the Qantas cutlery and the chiclets at the end?!!? I'm sold.

Simon Food Favourites said...

hi ladybird, i enjoy big groups too so you can try lots of dishes.

hi dolly, the dips and bread are always a good start to a meal.

hi thang, it could have even been a bit cheaper if we order a couple less dishes or had a couple more people. it's a fine art to get it right. i think ordering as you go can work so in terms of not over ordering if the service is fast.

hi madam wu, i wonder if Qantas is missing a few spoons hehe

hi green been food, hope you get to check them out if you have a chance.

hi tina, i guess it makes it that more comfortable hehe

hi lo, every chair should have indents perhaps hehe. hope you enjoy if you get to try the place :-)

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