Nestled amongst the trendy cafes and fashion boutiques of Balmain’s Darling Street, this modern Lebanese restaurant brings a taste of the Middle East to the inner west.
After 20+ years of trading in Balmain, Kazbah remains a local favourite as it buzzes with families and large groups enjoying Sunday lunch. The walls are splashed with a vibrant patchwork of patterned tiles which echo the Middle Eastern menu dotted with exotic flavours from Lebanon, Morrocco and North Africa.
Rose & Lemon Frappe ($8.50); Mint & Lemon Frappe ($8.50)
Start with a lemon sorbet frappe muddled with delicate rose or fresh mint, a refreshing and tart thirst-quencher flecked with little chewy nubbles of lemon zest. Then, be sure to order a selection of mezze, including Mia’s haloumi served sizzling hot in a pan with caramelised garlic, anchovies and blistered cherry tomatoes. The fresh, marinated octopus is also a hit, served thinly sliced with skordalia (a Greek potato and garlic dip), a touch of chilli and coriander.
Mia’s Haloumi ($18)
Marinated Octopus with Skordalia ($22)
Don’t go too wild with the mezze though – you’ll want to save some room for the mains. A generous pillow of hummus is fluffed up with toppings like tender, juicy pulled lamb, silky eggplant relish, fresh parsley, yoghurt, roasted tomato, crushed almonds and chilli oil. It’s full of texture and rich, gorgeous, mouth-watering flavour – a must-try for sure.
And, if you’re looking for a classic grill plate, don’t go past the chicken shawarma rotisserie served with fattoush salad, hummus, smokey eggplant baba ghanouj, toum (garlic sauce, and not enough of it!) and chips all ready to be rolled up in fresh Lebanese bread.
There are also lots of hearty options for our vegetarian friends at Kazbah. Take the smoked eggplant salad bowl – a satisfying heap of brown lentils and rice pilaf with intensely smokey eggplant, roasted cauliflower, mushrooms, baba ghanouj, feta and toasted pumpkin seeds. A tad too smokey for my liking but enjoyable nonetheless.
Pulled Lamb Hummus Bowl ($22.5)Smoked Eggplant Salad Bowl ($24)
Chicken Shawarma Rotisserie ($24.50)
Eats with Marie dined as a guest of Kazbah Balmain and Foodshot. All opinions, comments and photos are 100% honest and my own.
379 Darling St, Balmain NSW 2041
(02) 9555 7067
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