Abla Amad's Lebanese restaurant, Abla's, is a quiet, reliable achiever that’s been on the Melbourne restaurant scene since 1979. Serving up traditional, homemade Lebanese fare, founder Amad still toils away in the kitchen, providing wonderful, traditional Lebanese fare for all and sundry.
Here, you might start with a dish of crisp filo cigars, stuffed with spiced lamb and pine nuts, or maybe a smokey, lemon baba ghannouj, served with bread made from a generations-old recipe. Old school diners might prefer pan-fried chicken livers, which are soft and smooth, served in a light dressing of oil and citrus.
Next up, a simple bowl of garlic broad beans might be to your liking, or try the fish of the day (perhaps flathead with tahini). A must-try is the Kibbee Nayeh which is a bit like a Lebanese lamb tartare. If you prefer to sit back and let someone else do the ordering, gear up for the banquet, but be sure to loosen you belt.
When it’s finally time to head home – feeling full, content and perhaps a little over-indulged – banish that niggling feeling of guilt with a saying favoured by Abla herself: "Anything you do with love, you can never do wrong."
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