Location: East Victoria Park
Albany Highway in East Victoria Park and Victoria Park is lined with all kinds of restaurants covering various different cuisines. One of my work colleagues had organised a dinner at The Prophet Lebanese Cafe so I was keen to try something new. I’ve never eaten at a Lebanese restaurant so it was an experience I was looking forward to. Given the CHOGM public holiday, many people had taken leave so the initial party was cut down to a handful.
Upon entering the establishment which isn’t a far walk from The Park Centre shopping centre where there is plenty of parking, you immediately step into a warm homely type setting. The place is not large but the tables were booked out and there wasn’t a spare seat inside nor out. The owner came out and greeted us all as we looked through the menu. Throughout our meal, the service was warm and friendly.
The menu has a mix of vegetarian and meat dishes so it probably caters for many tastes. Some of the menu items are similar to Indian dishes which I’m familiar with. The work colleague who arranged the dinner is a regular patron so we decided to trust his judgment and order for us. The meals are similar to tapas in that they encourage sharing among a group of people. I’m quite happy with that as one gets to have variety and try a range of different dishes.
Apologies on the spelling, but here is a list of the dishes we ordered and a brief description:
- Toum – a light garlic dip with the consistency of ricotta with pickled cucumbers and flat bread
- Baba Ghanouj – smoked eggplant dip mixed with tahini, lemon and garlic
- Tabouleh – a traditional Lebanese salad which contains a mixture of tomato, parsley, onion, crushed wheat, lemon and oil.
- Felafel – deep fried mixture of mashed chick peas, broad beans and herbs
- Arnabeet – deep fried cauliflower with tangy tahini sauce
- Lamb Kebabs – seasoned grilled lamb skewers
So that is what we ordered and below our my thoughts:
- Toum – none of the dishes that contained garlic left you with that strong garlic taste that has you reaching immediately for a mint. The garlic is light and hangs in the background but does not overpower. A basket of warm flatbread was provided so I spread the dip and then placed a pickled cucumber and rolled the bread up and enjoyed. The dip is really light and easy to spread. The bread so tasty. While it’s such a simple starter, it really eases you in for what’s to come.
- Baba Ghanouj – another dip which is spread on flat bread and enjoyed. It’s amazing how simple the dishes are but how much flavour and taste emerges from each bite. The flavour balance is excellent with nothing overpowering the other ingredients.
- Tabouleh – this salad is very refreshing and can also be spread on to flat bread or just eaten on its own. The presence of onion does not leave a strong onion taste but is counteracted by the acidity of the lemon and tomato. The first thing that hits you is the freshness and the parsley.
- Felafel – I’m a real fan of anything deep fried but I’ve never eaten falafel. My grandma cooks a lovely Indian chick pea dish which I love so I was curious to see how mashed chick peas with other ingredients being deep fried would taste. Really yum is the answer. The lovely crispy crumbed coating added a nice crunch in texture which was contrasted to the softness of the chick pea and broad bean mix. I quite enjoyed this but the herbs were a bit strong so a bit of salad or dip along with each bite dumbs down the intenseness of the flavour. It’s great to try something new.
- Arnabeet – deep fried cauliflower, mmm. The cauliflower could have been a little more soft but there were some lovely flavours in this meal.
- Lamb Kebabs – served with more flat bread of course. The lamb was a little overcooked which made the meat a little tough and the salt was a tad on the heavy side. The lamb kebabs had quite a flavour kick and were quite intense. Lovely flavours which went well with the bread and other dips.
- Dessert – I ordered the baclava which was lovely. It wasn’t too sweet and the pastry was light and tasty.
We had also ordered another meal which hadn’t come but we were so full we decided to cancel it.
Food Review Summary
Verdict: Well, for predominately vegetarian food apart from the lamb skewers, we were all really full and satisfied with our meals. I had a nice night enjoying some unique flavours and tasty food. The restaurant provides a warm comforting setting with warm friendly service from the family run business. Among our small group, it worked out to cost a tad over $20 a head. Who said vegetarian can’t be tasty? BYO and cash only.
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