Father and son Jihad and Christian Moussallem work the small kitchen at The Prophet in Vic Park, cooking the Lebanese staples of Jihad’s homeland. While the family has been in the hospitality game for years, Christian joined in 2001, when The Prophet first opened.
From front of house to back it’s a family affair, with a menu of authentic, wallet-friendly dishes to eat in or take away. This has made it an institution on the Vic Park strip. Packed from midweek to weekends, it’s a case of make a booking or wait patiently.
Despite their heritage, the Moussallems aren’t precious. The menu takes influence from various parts of the Middle East, notably Egyptian classics such as ful medames (fava beans with cumin) and falafel.
There’s a not so secret approach at play: good ingredients and no shortcuts. Take the falafel preparation, with chickpea, onion and parsley in the mix. Each batch is fried to order, rather than precooked (or frozen).
It all works, and while you may fall into the age-old trap of over ordering, there’s no shame in getting a carry out. In fact, you’ll thank yourself the next day.