Shakshuka, rosewater-scented labneh and soujouk sausage – these are just a few of the things on the breakfast menu at Tahini.
Owner Joseph Haddad (who also owns Code Black Coffee) wanted Melburnians to get to know Lebanese food beyond falafel and dips. He’s joined in this venture by ex-employee-turned-business-partner, Bridie Manson. He also brought a chef over from his native Beirut to head the kitchen.
The food is casual but authentic – think kibbeh (lamb mince patties), fattoush (a Levantine bread salad), toum (garlic sauce) and shanklish (a soft Middle-Eastern cheese, similar to feta).
There are no twists. Tahini serves exactly what you’d get in Beirut. The grill is always firing and the team recommends the soufra (Lebanese sharing plates) to experience the best of the menu.
Another major draw is the tablieh. Choose a wrap – such as the prawn and pickled cucumber, or the haloumi with vine-roasted tomatoes and green dressing – and it will be served with chips and a dip to match what you chose. There’s a breakfast version, too, with scrambled eggs, beans and olives.
There’s Lebanese wine, arak (a distilled alcohol that tastes a little like ouzo), fresh juices and lemonades, and – naturally – Code Black coffee, served either as espresso or brewed in the Lebanese way.