A few years ago chef-guru Yotam Ottolenghi introduced me to the idea that the humble hummus dish was not just a dip but in fact, it was a meal. To be eaten as a main dish! ** MIND BLOWN ** Apparently this is how they do it in the middle east and thats how Yoash Dvir would like to see Sydneysiders eat their hummus. And Dvir is very convincing. His new shop (Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst) , Simply Hummus, is tiny, and that’s okay because he’s serving up a small but perfectly formed menu - all centred around hummus as the star of the show. Keeping the menu simple and authentic Dvir also offers toppings of tomato salad, falafel balls and caramelised onions. Dinner time sees a slightly varied menu plus an all-you-can eat option too.
Around the corner on Darlinghurst Road (behind the Fire Station) is another tiny hole-in-the-wall place serving up some of the best falafel in town. CHAPTER E is already a local’s favourite with lunchtime specials that includes fresh mint lemonade for $1…. A dollar! Can you think of anything going for a buck these days? Anything at all?! Anyway the Chapter E gang is suitably proud of their falafel, but it’s their Shakshuka that really has my attention these days - especially when winter calls for a hearty and warming breakfast/brunch.
Speaking of hearty breakfasts ALMOND BAR (which is not really a bar, but a restaurant specialising in Middle Eastern dishes) back up on Liverpool Street, serves up a traditional Syrian Breakfast on a select Sunday each month which is guaranteed to keep you going all-day-long. Also next month (July) they’re hosting Mulukhiyah Night and I seriously have no idea what that is but catch up on it here and lets face it - anything with banquet in the explanation has to be good :)
So that’s 3 excellent places for middle eastern delights in Darlo - all pretty much on the same block and 5 minutes from Taylor Square or Kings Cross station.
If you fancy a stroll or live closer to Potts Point/Elizabeth Bay/Ruchcutters Bay end of town try SHUK on Roslyn Gardens. Already a Bondi institution, this place has been pumping since late last year when they took up residence in this pretty, sleepy street just a stone’s throw from Rushcutter’s Bay Park (perfect for an after-lunch stroll).
Open each day for breakfast and lunch and Friday/Saturday for dinner, the owners at Shuk say the food they offer is “inspired by what we grew up with in Israel, where the cuisine available is one of the largest melting pots on the planet, with food coming from a variety of cultures that migrated to the country from 130 different countries in the past 50 years."
SERIOUSLY - where we would be without hummus?!