Thursday, January 22, 2009

Emma's on Liberty

  • Emma's on Liberty, Liberty St, Enmore (9550 3458)
I must admit, since the boys at Campos introduced me to Emma's I have been an addict ever since. Prior to their Christmas break I was going in every week to get some hummus and fattoush. Now fattoush is something that is dying from authentic Lebanese restaurants but is such a lovely light dish. Made with tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, Spanish onion, fried Lebanese bread, parsley and mint with a dressing made out of lemon juice, olive oil and sumac. So light and refreshing especially with some nice dip or meat dish.

The other standard order we have are the lady fingers. NO ONE in Sydney will do them like they do. I am serious. These lady's fingers do not contain cheese. They are not made with thick pastry which needs to be deep fried. They are like little cigars which are filled with lamb mice, pine nuts, cumin, all spice and onions, wrapped in light filo pastry without a mountain of butter or oil washed over them, so they are quite light. They are then baked until lightly browned and slightly crispy on the top but still soft enough so shards of pastry don’t just break away as you devour it.

Moorish Chicken is the dish we order when we are hungry, which is in addition to the others, as it is quite filling but utterly devine. Chicken breast fillets are grilled and then wrapped in Lebanese bread which also has Spanish onions and sumac, served with roasted capsicum, a few pickles and garlic sauce.

Now I need to say that there are two types of Lebanese garlic sauce available and ordering the wrong one could potentially be fatal. I LOVE garlic and can eat dishes which are potent with garlic, so for people out there like me you want to try ‘Toum’ which is a dip made from garlic, olive oil and a touch of lemon juice. It is strong I warn and not for the faint hearted. The other type of garlic dip is a version of toum mixed with yogurt so it is lighter, less intense and a nice accompaniment to many dishes and salads. This is what is served with the Moorish Chicken.

Even though I have eaten at Emma’s a lot, and I always say I am going to try new things, I end up getting exactly the same dishes. Maybe I am scared of trying new things as I am just obsessed with the others. I suppose this year I will have to let go of these favourites for one night to try and be amazed by other dishes.

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