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Friday, July 31, 2009

Faheem Fast Food, Enmore, Sydney

Mixed katta kat $12.00
Beef liver and kidney cooked with exotic spices
and traditional Pakistani hot curry

I have a theory...

Offal is the fat kid in school.

All the pretty things - lobster, salmon, scallops, rib eye and rack of lamb - get the instant double-take and the whistle of appreciation. They're the cool kids. Like the tall, blonde and beautiful, they could be wearing a paper bag and still make friends.

Offal has to work a little harder. Squat, spotty and hopelessly uncoordinated, it rarely bothers to rely on its looks. Quietly and patiently, it loiters in casserole pots, mingles with spices, and given enough time, will slowly win you over with personality, heart and sometimes--unexpectedly--a wicked sense of humour.

Oh offal, I believe in you.

I often find myself drawn to tripe on a menu. Not for the sympathy vote--oh no, offal deserves more than that. An order of katta kat at Faheem's Fast Food, a dish of "beef liver and kidney cooked with exotic spices" is my reward this evening. It's a dark and moody dish, cubes of liver and kidney cooked in garlic, ginger, cumin and tumeric with the slow burn of chilli that builds ferociously on the palate.

Okra lamb $12.0
Okra pieces with tender lamb
cooked with onion, tomatoes and medium spices

Faheem has grown since I last ate here. The brightly lit family-style restaurant is now twice the size. Drinks, cutlery and glasses of water are still help-yourself though, and the tandoor oven at the front is always busy cooking enormous skewers of chicken, beef mince and fish and rounds of fluffy naan. The tables are on a constant rotation with families, uni students, theatre-goers and the occasional taxi driver, all getting their fix of Pakistani and Indian food.

The okra lamb isn't as hot as the katta kat. Milder in spice and heat, the lamb falls apart with ease, and the okra is soft and pliable with its trademark stickiness.

Basmati rice with cardamom pod $2.50

We eat our curries with Basmati rice, mopping up the dregs with garlic naan, piping hot from the tandoor.

Garlic naan $2.00

Kashmiri naan $3.00
Naan stuffed with ground almonds and sultanas

The kashimiri naan is always a highlight, generously studded with fat juicy sultanas that mingle with coarsely ground almonds and dessicated coconut. I always consider it my dessert naan, althought the sweetness of the bread often works well with the curries.

Mango lassi $3.50

A plastic cup of mango lassi will extinguish any tastebuds on fire. The yoghurt drinks are the perfect complement to the meal, acting as both palate refreshers, tongue tamers and stomach soothers.

Style or substance? Give me the fat kid, every time.

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Faheem Fast Food on Urbanspoon

Faheem Fast Food
194-196 Enmore Road, Enmore, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9550 4850 or +61 (02) 9550 4803

Opening hours
7 days 11am - midnight dine-in and takeaway

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Faheem Fast Food (Oct05)
15 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 7/31/2009 01:21:00 am


  • At 7/31/2009 6:51 am, Anonymous lili - pikelet & pie said…

    I love Faheem fast food! Best naan and tandoori that I've eaten in Sydney, though I've often found the curries to be a little lacking. I have recently found a taste for okra, but I don't think I could do Katta kat, see I'm still bullying that little Kidney twerp, ain't no way I'm gonna be friends with that just yet.

  • At 7/31/2009 8:33 am, Blogger lex said…

    there is a leech in your rice O.o

  • At 7/31/2009 9:11 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If you didn't order tandoori chicken, you need to go back and try it.

  • At 7/31/2009 9:13 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    when offal is cooked with wonderful spices, it surpasses all of its other meaty cousins. :)

  • At 7/31/2009 9:34 am, Blogger Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said…

    I can see that with these spices and flavours how offal could be part of the popular crowd! I could even have a go at it! Thank you for enlightening us Helen on another restaurant in the inner west...must check it out!

  • At 7/31/2009 12:18 pm, Anonymous clekitty said…

    I too am drawn to offal. I think it's the Asian in me that's drawn to the texture of offal!

  • At 7/31/2009 2:27 pm, Blogger Simon Leong said…

    what's that black thing that feel in your rice? offal? naan looks really good and cheap. :-)

  • At 7/31/2009 4:54 pm, Anonymous Jax said…

    Is it me or are their curries hotter than they used to be? Last time I was there even the tandoori chicken was eye watering!

  • At 8/02/2009 12:26 am, Blogger YaYa said…

    haha, love the analogy with offal and the fat kid at school and I always go for the underdog - gimme tripe and kidneys, sweetbreads, livers, brains - love em all, what a great find!

  • At 8/02/2009 2:35 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi lili - lol at kidney twerp. I know a few people who are averse to it, but hey, I hear he's really good at math.

    Hi Lex - That's a cardamom pod. lol!

    Hi Shermozle - I have had the tandoori chicken before - great! - but we didn't have room for it this time. The sorrow of only having 2 stomachs to fill creates menu limitations alas!

    Hi Cruxiefaye - I agree. Offal is a wonderful carriage for flavours. I also sometimes just love its texture, particularly honeycomb tripe. I love Chinese-style tripe cooked with blackbeans and chilli.

    Hi Peter G - Surprised you haven't been here already. It's always open super late so always handy to know. I do think offal is too often under-appreciated. Hope you enjoy a visit soon!

    Hi Clekitty - I think as part of Asian culture, we're often taught/expected to eat the entire animal and not waste food. Texture is also a huge factor - I find I'm often more acutely aware of texture than flavour sometimes!

    Hi Simon Food Favourites - It's a cardamom pod :) Naan is great and so fresh from the tandoor. Can't beat naan that's so fresh it's still fluffy!

    Hi Jax - Do you always order the same curry? Maybe it depends on the chef on duty? I haven't eaten here that often to make a comparision, especially as usually I like to order different things off the menu.

    Hi YaYa - lol. Glad you liked the analogy. I do feel for offal. Undervalued and under-appreciated. Can't we all identify? lol.

  • At 8/02/2009 10:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm really jealous,my friend that lives close by and said this place is great, and your blog makes me want to rush there now!! Now i just goto wait for a show at Enmore theatre to go..........


  • At 8/02/2009 11:48 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Sydneyguyrojoe - No need to wait for a show at the Enmore - just head on over :)

  • At 8/31/2010 6:46 pm, Anonymous john@heneedsfood said…

    Geez I reckon five years have passed since I ate here last. I think I had the tandoori chicken. Bad memory. We need to go on a romantic date & stuff ourselves with offal!

  • At 9/12/2010 6:15 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi John - You're on. I'm calling you when you get back from hols!

  • At 8/19/2011 6:55 pm, Blogger Laura said…

    love this place, it's delicious!


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