Cheesey Lebanesey at Mankoushe

26 Jun

Nothing like being ill over a weekend to dig the knife deeper into one struggle street of a week.  Thankfully, I can always call on the Gang (Little L and Z) to assist in the drowning of my sick sorrows without it involving bad disco techs and ‘getting wasted’!!

Earlier in the day, I’d briefly touched base with Z on the night’s possible events and the need for a) wine times, and b) it be cheap ‘n’ cheerful!! In a stroke of genius, she responds with “Cheesey Lebanesey?”  To translate this said “Cheesey Lebanesey”, which she so cheerfully hummed out over the phone, is Lebanese pizza…although in hindsight I don’t really get why she called it that.  Whatever.  It was a catchy tune.  And its caught on! Plus, after countless pre squash dinners offered at Zeina’s place  of Zatar and bread, this suggestion was like Codral for a cold…  Soothing and I want to have more than the recommended amount!

Mankoushe counter/kitchen

After a ritual wine at Carlton espresso, we high tailed it down to Mankoushe in Brunswick East for our Lebanese Pizza fix.  We enter the tiny takeaway shop to a small table for customers to dine, and a wall of smiley staff half cooking/half vibing on the music blaring on the speaker.  Cheerful box – tick! And best yet, the smell of sweet sweet lebanese bread!  Mankoushe offers over 20 different flavours/toppings of pizza/pies (as well as daily specials), which are all made from organic spelt flour and range from $2-$9.  Cheap box – tick!  Off to a swimming start.

It’s a rather overwhelming menu with so much on offer.  But not surprisingly my eyes went straight for the Kafta… LAMB!  (But the most appealing part of this flavour is the creamy mayo that tops off the lamb mince with 7 spices).  As there are 3 of us, we decide to choose a flavour each, and sit in to take in the loud music & interesting characters (both on the walls and the local patronage).  I kind of peer pressured Z into ordering the Zatar (i LOVE Zatar… almost as much as fat kid loves cake) and Little L chose a chicken from the specials.

Zatar; oregano, oil, sumac & sesame seeds $2

Within 15 minutes, our first two pizza’s are brought to our (the only) table.  Being the first time trying Lebanese pizza, I’m surprised to find the base to be wonderfully light, crisp and a little sweet.  The Zatar is fragrant and tasty with just enough oil on the base to prevent from being dry.  My absolute favourite about this one is that the flavour is spread all the way to the rim… yep! I’m kinda O.C.D about my spreading technique…

Kafta Lamb; mince, parsely, onion, 7 spices, topped with fresh tomato & mayo $6.20

The Kafta lamb was more than just a visual spectacular!  The slices of fresh tomato balance out the richness of the  creamy mayo, so when you take that all engulfing bite of lamb, sweet base, tomato and mayo it’s flavour nation!  Almost like the satisfaction of eating a burger with the lot, sans mess.  My only gripe was that the mince wasn’t all the way to edge.  But you win some you loose some…

Last but not least was the special of the chicken with creamy mayo, which, I’m going to call a pie(?).  This kind of looked like a GIANT pastie, and had a slightly filo like, bready encasing.  Next time I feel like eating my emotions, I’d definitely order this one!  It’s HUGE!  Filling, cheap and best eaten in the privacy of your own home away from prying eyes.

Special; chicken with garlic mayo, fetta, corn, lettuce and fresh tomato $9

The chicken was dressed in a super garlicky mayonnaise situation, that actually tasted amazing!  It added not only flavour but acted as a good gelling tool to hold the shredded lettuce, diced tomato and corn kernels inside, as well as preventing dryness.  This kind of felt like I was eating a chicken wrap… but with a lot more personality.  That flaky, crusty bread exterior is pretty unbeatable.

Pie Faces adorning the walls

Such a shame that they are only open Thursday to Sunday and close at 9pm.  Good thing it didn’t take us long to devour our pizzas; we didn’t really stand a chance talking over the music festival volume music blaring (maybe that was part of their ‘eat quick, get out so we can close tactic’).  It did though, give me a chance to think about all the people I could bring here so that I could try all the different flavours (super keen to try Kawira which is topped with an egg… YEP… so.  Asian!! and the haloumi options…mmmmm cheeeese!)

Walking out rather full bellied, despite the ringing in my ears I’m already planning my next experience with the cheery folk at Mankoushe.  Because one can never deny a cheap and cheerful meal with some “Cheesey Lebanesey”!!


325 Lygon St, Brunswick East  03 9078 9223

One Response to “Cheesey Lebanesey at Mankoushe”

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