Saturday, August 05, 2006

1pm: Lunch at Mankoushe Cafe

The last time we updated this tour, we sent everyone off to Mankoushe for lunch. That's still a fine option if you're after an excellent pizza or some great felafel, but if you've got a bit more time then head next door and sit down at the cafe.

It's a bit more relaxed than the bakery - the music's not deafening, there's more space and you can spread out in the spacious front room or the courtyard. The food options are more wide-ranging too - they vary seasonally, so you never quite no what you're going to find on the menu. There might be fancy Middle Eastern dishes like kibe iras (burgal pumpkin dumplings) with spinach, chickpeas and pine nuts plus babaganoush and garlicky silverbeet stems.

A more recent version of these pumpkin dumplings were super crispy, stuffed with lightly spiced potato and peas and served with a pomegranate/tomato sauce.

You can dive into vibrant dishes like this lentil salad with caramelised onion, fresh coriander and sliced radish.

Or you can sample from the breakfast dishes, like this spiced Dutch cream potatoes baked with two eggs and topped with minted yoghurt and served with pita bread.

If you get really lucky, you might stumble onto one of their monthly weekend feasts, when $20 buys all you can eat food from an incredible buffet of options.

The menu is always vegan friendly and the staff couldn't be lovelier. There's decent coffee, traditional Lebanese teas and a good range of sweet treats to choose from. Eat up...

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