You sit on a high stool facing a bar and in front of you there’s a crawl of clear domes covering dishes, like an ant line of snow globes. It’s a familiar way to eat for Sydneysiders, but under the domes is not raw fish and sushi rolls. It’s hummus, baba ganoush and all the edible hallmarks of the Levant. It’s a mezze train, and it’s the only one of its kind in Australia and maybe even the world.
Adam Mansour and Spring Makloof are the two Dr Frankensteins of the operation. “We love our mezzes, that's the way we eat at home. We thought, ‘How come no one's ever done this before, put it on a sushi train?’” he says. It’s not an outrageous idea; most mezzes are pre-prepared and served cold, so there’s no detrimental effect on freshness or quality. The items that would dry out or mist up the domes (anything hot or meat heavy) are served to the table. “That's something we learnt early on,” Mansour says. “We have a rotisserie for the skewered meats and Lebanese sausages and shawarma.”
In contrast to the unique approach to serving it, there’s nothing new or inventive on the menu, as Makloof says, “It’s all traditional.” The back wall is decorated with oddly placed bricks like a Levant ruin. The opposite side has the kind of long translucent curtains you’d imagine in a furniture showroom. On Friday nights, families clap, laugh and dance to the sashaying of a belly dancer and her drumming companion.
Despite Makloof and Mansour’s early worries, it’s been extremely popular –most nights the train is booked out. The pair is looking to western Sydney or the CBD for Mezza Train’s second edition.
111 High Street, Mascot
(02) 8694 7222
Tue to Thu 11am–9.30pm
Fri to Sat 11–11pm