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Strathfield Good Food Guide : Food Guide 2011
middle eastern Chef Jorge Ballas ZENOBIA LEBANESE CUISINE T3/9 George Street, North Strathfield. Phone: 9746 8424. www.zenobiarestaurant.com.au What type of food do you serve? We have Lebanese dishes on our menu but we also have some Middle Eastern food. We have the mezze, which has dips, salad, entrees and mains. We have lamb skewers, chicken skewers and we do the stuffed zucchini with rice and minced meat. A lot of restaurants don’t do the stuffed zucchini. We also barbecue our own eggplants and cook our own chickpeas. We do everything here in house. How long have you been a chef? Since 1990. Where did you learn to cook? Well, I’ve always loved to cook so I learned at home, but I also learned in Syria. My background is Iraqi but I lived for about 10 years in Syria learning to cook at a friend’s restaurant. What is your specialty? Masakaa, which is where I grill the eggplant and mix it with the sauce. We serve it with rice. No other restaurant in Sydney serves this. www.ourstrathfield.com.au Where do you source your ingredients? We get our spices from Nut Roaster [in Roselands], which has imported Middle Eastern goods, and I have a supplier in the Flemington markets who supplies all my fresh food for my three restaurants – Zenobia here, Eatalia Restaurant Bar across the road and Zenobia Leichhardt. What is your signature dish? Lamb cutlets served with moghrabieh, which we now call a Lebanese couscous. Does your restaurant serve any dishes you believe to be Asian fusion? Chicken shwarma. I used to serve this dish on a hot plate like a Mongolian lamb or Mongolian chicken with a bit of vegetable but people used to come back and say, ‘Hang on, this is not Arabic – this is an Asian look’. This was about one-and-a-half years ago but now I have changed it back to the Arabic look. Because of the presentation people would say it was Asian but it had an Arabic taste. MASAKAA INGREDIENTS 2 green capsicums 2 red capsicums 1 large brown onion 4 medium-soft tomatoes 1 cup chickpeas 1 tbs tomato paste 4 garlic cloves 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp black pepper 1 tsp salt 1/3 cup vegetable oil 500g baby eggplant METHOD • Chop capsicums, tomatoes and onion into cubes. • Boil chickpeas. • Add one-third of the oil to pan and fry vegetables and garlic together. • Add tomato paste and two cups of water and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer to thicken. • Shallow-fry the eggplant, then drain off oil. • Serve the chickpea mixture and eggplants with steamed rice. Recipe 2012 edition | 39
Food Guide 2010
Strathfield Good Food Guide 2012