With historic ties to farming and agriculture, the cuisine of the Middle East is known for its fondness for tasty grilled meat. If you're a fan of classic charcoal grilled meat dishes, head down to Teta's (meaning grandma's) on Babbage Road, where barbecued classic meat dishes like kafte (minced beef and lamb skewers with onion, spices and parsley) and laham meshwi (skewers of lamb backstrap skewers cooked on pickled hummus, vegetables and pickles) grace the menus.
While grilled meats may be popular in the Middle East, the region is also known for bringing top meat free dishes to the world, such as falafel and hummus. There's a high number of vegetables and spices used in Middle Eastern cooking, as well as legumes like lentils and beans - all of which are ingredients for delicious vegetarian meals. When it comes to Sydney's Middle Eastern restaurants, Kazbah on Darling Street is popular among local veggies for its chickpea fritters served with zucchini, crème fraîche and baby roast tomatoes, while other meat free dishes such as Jordanian batengan (fried eggplant with a garlic, paprika and yoghurt sauce) and tabbouleh (tomato and parsley bulgur wheat) can be found at Teta's too.
With a heavy reliance on tasty ingredients such as nuts and syrups, the Middle East has produced some of the world's best sweet treats. Dessert is definitely on the menu at Middle Eastern restaurants in Sydney, too: Zahli on Elizabeth Street in the suburb of Surry Hills is a particular favourite for those who like a bit of after-dinner sweetness, offering classics like chilled rose water rice pudding made with pistachios and milk and baklava (a syrupy filo pastry made with cashew nuts). And in a nod to the French influence on the Middle East over the centuries, you can also order petit four (mixed shortbread biscuits) if you'd like something a little lighter for dessert.
Sydney's Middle Eastern restaurants are pretty popular, and they do fill up and get busy. That's why it's a good idea to always reserve a table in advance – if you already know where you'd like to eat – to avoid disappointment. And with Quandoo, you can just scroll through our list of Sydney's best Middle Eastern restaurants, find one you like the look of and book online in seconds. It's easier than ever!