Tarboosh Lebanese Kitchen

55 Alexander St, Crows Nest NSW

In some ways the world is definitely changing for the better! It used to be hard to locate vegan food when away from home, but on a recent trip to Sydney I was struck by how widely available and publicly signposted it is. At this Lebanese restaurant located in what has turned into a dining precinct on he lower North Shore the menu indicates which dishes are vegan, and while I was disappointed to find that the baba ghanoush was not among them the three of us who sat down together were able to put together a fine meal fully confident that it was entirely vegan. The fatoush of various salad ingredients and a dressing of pomegranate and lemon topped with pieces of toasted bread was beautifully fresh, and went well with the hummus. Recently I’ve eaten a bit of hummus brought in tubs from the supermarket, and it’s good to be reminded of how superior the freshly made product is, light and clean to the taste. The Lubye, green beans in tomato and onion, seems to be the Arab (and presumably original) version of a dish the Turks and Greeks also do, and was well executed, although I wouldn’t have minded a larger serve, as was the Battata Kezebra of fried cubed potato. The only dish I found slightly disappointing was the Foul of fava beans and chick peas, which was oddly lacking in taste; perhaps a  bit more olive oil or a sprinkling of cumin would have helped. At the end of the meal this was the only dish we had not wiped clean.

As always among the Arabs, there was plenty of flat bread on the gable, and at the beginning of the meal we were served pink pieces of salty pickled turnip (the colour can be alarming, but it comes from nothing more sinister than beetroot juice) and chillies. It was a simple but thoroughly satisfying meal of wholesome food that left us perfectly content.

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