Billed as a Middle Eastern salad bar, United Arab Eatery in Northcote occupies the tiny shopfront that used to be home to For The Love of Pizza.
On the counter sit a stack of Turkish cookbooks, hinting at what’s to come. But the fare at United Arab Eatery is also influenced by Lebanese, Syrian and Moroccan cooking techniques and flavours. The menu structure encourages sharing.
Fresh, vibrant salads like tabouli and fattoush (cucumber, tomato, radish, bread) are always on offer. Your plate might also feature a Moroccan carrot and coriander salad or a fennel and orange number, depending on which vegetables are in season.
Plates also include fresh house-made flat bread, grains, dips (babaganoush will be the staple, but a dip of beetroot or carrot will also make an appearance here and there), olives, feta and pickled vegetables.
If you’ve gone for the meat plate, expect the Arabic dish, lamb kibbeh, or perhaps Lebanese chicken fattee or meatballs. There are also a handful of other options, such as UAE falafel, lamb pizza with rocket and yoghurt, and za’atar pizza with tomato and green olives.
If you’re planning to come for dinner, bear in mind there are 20 seats in the whole place. If you’re lucky enough to nab one, get ready for maximum cosiness while you soak in all the delicious Middle Eastern aromas.