Fatima’s, Surry Hills

I had high hopes for Fatima’s. Some friends had recommended it as the best vegetarian fare around. I have been here once before many years ago and tried the vegetarian banquet. So after a play had finished at Belvoir are we filed in from around the corner.

The banquet here was about $35 a head, so we decided to order the mixed plate instead: two meat and one vegetarian. We also tried a jug of the Lebanese lemon drink ($10.50).

It took awhile for the plates to arrive – I think they were cooking the falafel. The meat plate included some hummus and babaganoush, falafel, tabouli, onion/lettuce salad, chicken kebab, sausage and lamb shish kebab. The babaganoush was smoky, the hummus was watery, both were sprinkled with paprika and olive oil.

The tabouli was really sharp and quite coarsely chopped. The felafel were larger than at Jasmin, but still quite tasty – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. No little green bits inside (for which I still haven’t worked out what they are).

The sausage I didn’t really care for, the lamb shish kebab was good without too much fat. I found the chicken a bit dry.

The vegetarian plate came with a vine leaf, and two other vego dishes from the menu. The first vego selection was a marinated capsicum, tomato and button mushroom dish. I’m always a fan of mushrooms, so I liked this one. The second dish was called ‘black lentil salad’ on the menu. This was a salad of rice and brown lentils. The rice had been cooked with a stock and was tasty and also very moreish.
You know, several years ago, I would’ve found the food here quite acceptable. I remember really enjoying the vegetarian banquet last time I was here, and the place did come highly recommended. Of the two I much prefer the vegetarian plate.

All in all, the bill was $76.50 for three, almost twice as expensive as Jasmin. Next time – I will try Al Aseel, which has opened up a branch around the corner.

Fatima’s Lebanese Restaurant
294-296 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills 2010
Ph (02) 9698-4895
Open daily till late.

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