Du Liban is another of those little places tucked away in an industrial area of a Marrickville, Sydney. If you are not careful you may miss it like I did for a couple of weeks.
I can assure you that many people have managed to find it, in fact the line up of local workers and Tradie trucks pulling up at lunch time will tell you that Australians from all walks of life know good food even if they have to hunt it down.
It’s a friendly casual place where you order from the counter and the staff are keen to guide you.
This is a dream come true for the owners, Raed and Dorrie , a local couple with three children who just wanted to find a cafe with good food. OK, tick.
They combine a love of good ingredients and a simple quality approach to the food they serve. The cafe has predominately Lebanese / Middle eastern food with some French influences . The bakery is in the back and it produces all of the baked goods made from Laucke, organic Australian flour. The focus for the bakery is the Manoush, a traditional Lebanese pizza style bread that is served flat, like pizza or wrapped around a variety of ingredients either with vegetables or a combination of meat, vegetables , cheese and Za a’tar. Their interesting varieties and combinations keep the lunch trade coming back. The day I visited there were both Salmon and Dill and one filled with Haloumi and lamb. ranging from $4-5.50. The tangy green Za’atar bread is served cut into wedges warm $3.50. That alone will have me coming back.
Breakfasts are a treat if you are fond of beans because they serve ful medames, a traditional fava bean dish of creamy cooked beans and a side of flat bread, $8.50. On the weekend you can have the big breakfast with Scrambled Eggs, Baked Tomato, Sauted Lemon Garlic Potatoes. (Side serve of pickles) $16.80. Any of the components can be ordered separately including the luminous pickles . There’s Scrambled Eggs with mince and Pinenuts and even Shakshuka but if you are really hankering for something sweet you can have Buttermilk Pancakes, croissants or a more traditional Lebanese Dessert. These are baked by of the pastry chef, who has worked at Black Star amongst a long list of other places and are a combination of middle eastern and more local hybrids.The Slow Roast lamb wrap with Mint, lettuce and a garlicky tahini is delicious and a very filling $11.80.
A camel Burger was an unusual choice for lunch. The hand cut chips were irresistible and the lovely charred Camel Burger patty was a surprise. $12.50
Coffee is a blend especially roasted for them but why not also give the hot chocolate a try $4, it’s warm frothy milk blended with a house made Callebaut Chocolate ganache. You could opt for a more traditional drink of Ayran, $2, a yoghurt drink served warm, or a Golden Milk. This is a surprising combination of Turmeric, Ginger, Black Pepper and milk ( your choice or Almond , rice or standard milk). It’s lightly sweetened with honey or maple syrup $4.50, and makes you feel like you are doing something really good for yourself.
Knefeh a much loved “Middle Eastern”, semolina and ricotta cake sits alongside, ($7), a wondrous carrot cake stuffed with crunchy walnut filling. I am hooked on the relaxed warehouse feel. The concrete floors and the rustic looking wooden tables. Out the back the enormous kitchen space, full of mixers and long benches, pumps out food and bread, while we sit outside in the winter sun.
Sat to Sun 7:30 am – 4:00 pm
My Kitchen Stories was not sponsored in any way to dine here.