Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Zenobia, Lebanese, North Strathfild


All right, this one is about a Friday night. Another week gone down the drain, or rather another brick in the wall, and we as always have bitten the dust. Come back to my home Strathfield and then we three friends are thinking what do we do? Options near Strathfield. Korean Barbeque’s, naah. Indian curries at strathfield, homebush, naah. What I want is an evening where I can relax, have something which is not too heavy on the food. Well, we decide by a process of elimination and shortlist a Lebanese restaurant- Zenobia. We have been here once before and it was pretty decent.

So the boys get set and leave for North Strathfield via the train. Located on the main George Street in North Strathfield. For a Friday evening, we were surprised that it wasn’t too busy, in comparison to what we had seen before usually when passed the restaurant. We had the option of sitting inside or outside. Outside they had placed seats and canopies, with fire heaters. We settled for the outside seating. There is BYO, so the two bottles of reds were definitely welcome.

Looking at the menu, we had the options of going for the menu. Now in a previous visit, I did have the starter banquet, which had a whole array of dips, vegetarian options, and then the chicken and lamb options. From memory, it was good, but I didn’t want to go for it again. Why? Because I like chicken more than beef, not too interested in the veggie options.

So we ordered ala carte. For dips we ordered hommous and baba ghanoush dips. The hommous as always was perfect and mild, with smooth consistency. The baba ghanoush dip had a smoky flavor. We were served some Lebanese breads and another interesting variants with was more like crispy popadums. When we asked the gentleman, he indicated this was more like a Lebanese bread with zatar, which was deep fried. There was a topping of herbs on the bread. He informed that zatar is usually a herb in the middle east which is dried, made as a powder and then used on the various cooking forms. He also serve us a chilly dip/paste just to spice it up.

The dips and the bread were a perfect start to conversation. Just lovely.

For starters we ordered the Falafel and the Chicken Ribs with the chilli. The falafel, was descent but not out of the world. While I have had better falafel, yet this one was descent enough. Went well with the two dips. The Chicken Ribs with chilli soon arrived and trust me this was the starter which hit the spot. Very tasty, juicy succulent pieces, medium spiced. Just went wonders with the Lebanese breads and the hommous. This one is highly recommended.

Next we got our mains. There were three of us and so we had ordered three main courses.  Firstly the BBQ Chicken Skewers.  This one came with three skewers with quite thick chunks of chicken. The chicken was really juicy and succulent. I mean, great spices and juicy. Served with a Garlic Dip and some onions and a flat bread with chilli. Again, loved the dish and well worth it. Lovely spices and very juicy. Must Have.

The next dish we ordered was the Chicken Shawarma. When we ordered this, we thought it was probably one of the regular shawarma where they just scoop or scrape chicken down from the big chicken cylinder rotating in the regular chicken shawarma units. We were quite apprehensive why we should order this. However on asking the waiter and we were recommended to go for this one for sure and we sure did. The dish was wow. Again, small pieces, well spiced and juicy, garlic sauce, lemon and a big serving of chips. Again, I was impressed with this dish. Really good.

The last dish was the Riz-a-la-dijaj. This was supposed to be a whole baby chicken – baked and served with basmati rices with sultanas, apricots. Now, to be honest, at this time of ordering I thought this might be the best dish. To be true, when we did get the dish, I wasn’t impressed to be honest. The chicken was about ok and nothing too great. Out of all the dishes, this one was not what I liked.

However, a good evening with great food and reds. Towards the end of the meal, the owner sent us his best complements with a mixed array of sweets- baklava and Turkish delight along with some Turkish coffee.

There are options for hookah here as well, in case you want to try.
The dips are priced from $12-$20. The starters go in the same range, unless you order prawns or seafood. The mains are $22-$30.

All in all, I loved this place- the food, the open air seating with the fire and the wine. Given the amount we had, we incurred a bill of about $150 for three people which I find reasonable. Would I visit again- Most definitely yes. Would I recommend- Highly.
Zenobia Restaurant
13/9 George Street
North Strathfield, NSW 2137

Phone: 02 9746 8424

Zenobia on Urbanspoon

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