Archive | Lebanese RSS feed for this section

The Moor’s Head

7 Feb

Since our last “cheesy lebanesey” pizza experience at Mankoushe with Z, I’d pretty much start drooling at the mention of pizza!! My mind reminiscing instantly of that fragrant za’atar atop that fluffy pizza base.  So like every other ‘foodie’, when we’d heard Joseph Abboud of Rumi’s had opened another establishment it was only a matter of time before we’d join the masses to try his new offering; a combination of crowd pleasing Pizza with Middle Eastern topping and flavours.  Something he called, Inauthentic Pizza  (assuming not in that gross chain establishment-lets jam as much bad cheese/sausage/bacon into the crust-Pizza kind of way… i’m not joking.  That pizza was called the German King, at Japanese Pizza Hut’s).

It’d been a while since N, Z, JP and I all had a free Friday to catch up together for a carb fest!  It had been an even longer while since somewhere we wanted to eat took bookings!  So we were all feeling pretty positive about this situation… (especially given we now had a pregnant lady in tow.  And that JP can’t wait for anything for more than 17 seconds without getting extremely agitated!)

Now from here on in, you’ll have to excuse me if I get some of the flavours mixed up… we came here so long ago I can’t remember exactly what was what.  What I can guarantee is that all 3 were meat laden flavours!

So we went with The Golden Terrace (the mammoth one to the right) – minced beef, fresh tomato, chilli, almond, lemon ($18).  The almonds on this gave it some good texture, but it could have done with more lemon and maybe more chilli…just more flavour.   The Emir Bashir II (center) which was Hummus, sujuk (sausage), fresh tomato, olives, parsley ($19) and the round one to the end is Fairuz which had Tomato, haloumi, bastourma (more meat… cured i think) and parsley ($18).  This was probably my favourite of the 3, as the bastourma was nice and salty.  Which meant my fingers finally got a break from sprinkling salt onto EVERYTHING to give it some flavour!

Greens for the night (as requested by the pregnant lady) were Cabbage, Mint soused onion, caraway($8.5) and  Roquette- Shanklees ($8).

 If you’re looking at all this thinking ‘that seems like a lot for 4’, you’re pretty right.  It was!  They were all varied in actual size, but all equally bready.  So earlier when I said we were getting our carb on, I wasn’t being sarcastic!!  Although the toppings were generous, it was hard to not be distracted by the rather chewy, dense consistency of the pide/base.

We did the best we could to finish without getting jaw lock, and I took the small window of room left in my belly as an opening for dessert before the carb-coma took hold.

Dessert was Nutella Fatayer ($9) which was served with Persian Fairy floss and a Halva and Banana Fatayer ($9).  In hindsight, probably should have just let that window close.  We were all so full we could pretty much only manage a corner of each and picked at the garnishings before we had to call it quits!! Banana and Halva though… Bit of a winner!! THAT, I would come back for!

On the whole, with the lack of flavour, and the overly chewy bases, The Moor’s Head failed to leave me wanting more…. Think i’m going to stick to the cheap and cheerful option for my future ‘cheesey Lebonesey’ cravings.

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”!!

Mankoushe

325 Lygon St, Brunswick East  03 9078 9223