I had possibly some of the best Middle Eastern food of my life when I incidentally stumbled across the now-famous Cairo Takeaway, so imagine my surprise when a friend of mine told me that as although he agrees that Cairo is great, he thinks that Emma’s Snack Bar is better. Now if I weren’t who I am, I would’ve found some time to drop by Emma’s maybe a couple weeks after that conversation. As it stands, it’s been almost a whole 4 years. Sorry Ben, but at least I made it eventually!
Like any true blue Aussie, I love a cheeky kebab any time of day. But now that I’m coming up to 30 (eep!) and can no longer eat whatever I want whenever I want without consequences, when I do eat a kebab, it had better be worth my while. And although the Strathfield area is a bit dire on the kebab front, I’m only a short train ride away from Auburn, where Middle-Eastern food abounds. New Star Kebab looks dodgy, no two ways about it. The neon sign reminds me of those pizza-pasta-kebab joints that line the streets of the CBD, and have only managed to stay around due to their convenience factor, rather than any merit of their food.…
Over the last few years, Lebanese food has really made its way into my list of favourite comfort eats. The ubiquitousness of it in Sydney, combined with the overall quality of the food, has really cemented my love for falafel and garlic sauce (I was always a fan of grilled meats, so no credit for that one). And one of the oldest, as well as most popular places to get Lebanese food in Sydney would be Jasmin1, which has stood on the corner opposite Auburn station for more than 30 years.
I was first introduced to the world of Lebanese-styled charcoal chicken by El Jannah, which is considered by many to be the best chicken shop in Sydney. But the world of charcoal chicken in Sydney is a large one, and today I decide to go a block down the road from El Jannah to Hawa Charcoal Chicken – another magnate on the Sydney chook scene. Like all good charcoal chicken places, you can smell Hawa before you see it, but only just. This place is so enormous it takes up about half a dozen store fronts, the seating area set up like a shopping centre food court. Except instead of a bunch of different stores, it is Lebanese-styled charcoal chicken…
I’ve never been to Student Biryani, but I can tell you right now that it does the best biryani in Sydney. Ok technically that’s a bit of a half-truth; I may have never been to Student Biryani in person, but I’ve sure eaten it plenty of times. An old co-worker of mine used to occasionally organise biryani days at work, where he would order entire buckets from Student Biryani for us to feast on. And everyone who has ever tasted it agrees that it is the best they’ve ever had.
Until I moved to Sydney, I was never keen on falafel. In Melbourne, they were more often than not an afterthought, thrown onto the side of the obligatory vegetarian platter. Even at restaurants that specialised in falafel, they were never quite as delicious as the ones I’ve become used to in Sydney. These days however, the thought of a bit of fried chickpea gets me rather excited. So when news emerged of Jimmy’s Falafel, where the chef apparently spent 3 months perfecting his special falafel mix (which unusually, is a combination of fava beans and chickpeas, rather than one or the other), I was there and ready to be delighted.