United Arab Eatery, a Middle Eastern salad bar in Northcote, occupies the tiny shopfront that used to be home to For The Love of Pizza. A stack of Turkish cookbooks sits on the counter, hinting at what’s to come. But, as the name implies, the fare is also influenced by Lebanese, Syrian and Moroccan cooking techniques and flavours.
The menu structure encourages sharing; with too many appealing dishes for one. 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. The menu also includes fresh house-made flat bread, grains, dips (babaganoush is the staple, but a dip of beetroot or carrot will also make an appearance here and there), olives, feta and pickled vegetables.
The meat plate will feature 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 dinner, bear in mind there are only 20 seats. If you’re lucky enough to nab one, be ready for maximum cosiness while you soak in all the delicious Middle Eastern aromas.