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Monday, June 10, 2013

Kebab Abo Ali Iraqi Restaurant, Fairfield

iraqi dinner at kebab abo ali iraqi restaurant fairfield

So you say you’ll try anything once? Then get into some sheep’s head and prove it.

It’s called khash or pacha, a Middle Eastern winter dish traditionally eaten by men in the early hours of the morning. Tackling this for breakfast is a little ambitious, but dinner is definitely doable at Kebab Abo Ali, an Iraqi restaurant in Sydney’s southwest. This family-run restaurant is popular with Iraqi locals. The dining room is a mix of austere wooden furniture perked up with colourful woven tapestries and traditional artefacts.

kash or pacha at kebab abo ali iraqi restaurant fairfield
Kash or pacha $15

Khash is not a pretty dish, but hey, offal is rarely about glamour. A mere $15 will get you a treasure hunt of sheep’s head and trotters all boiled together until soft and yielding. “Is that cheek?” “Oh look, I got the tongue!” Dinner has never been so much fun. The meat is a funpark of textures – some bits tender, others more gelatinous – all scooped up with comforting layers of soup-soaked bread. It’s hearty fare for real men. And women.

parda plaw at kebab abo ali iraqi restaurant fairfield
Parda plaw $15

If sheep’s head isn’t your thing, the parda plaw is guaranteed to be a winner. It looks like a giant pudding wrapped in golden brown pastry, garnished with leaves of flat leaf parsley. Cut your way through and you’ll find an aromatic pilaf inside, super long grains of basmati rice mixed through with chunks of lamb, fried vermicelli noodles, toasted almonds and whole cardamom pods. The flaky pastry combined with spoonfuls of rich spiced rice makes for something special.

rice inside the parda plaw at kebab abo ali iraqi restaurant fairfield
Rice, mince, nuts and vegetables inside the parda plaw $15

bbq skewers at kebab abo ali iraqi restaurant fairfield
BBQ mixed plate of skewers $15

The charcoal barbecue gets fired up for kebabs, delivered smoky and charred with a liberal sprinkling of sumac. Choose from minced lamb, cubed lamb fillet or chicken tekka or get the mixed plate to try all three.

quozy lamb shoulder at kebab abo ali iraqi restaurant fairfield
Quozy lamb shoulder with and rice, beans and salad $15

Qouzy lamb with rice offers up a slow cooked lamb shank. Wood-fired fish has a delicious blackening from the fire.

wood fired fish at kebab abo ali iraqi restaurant fairfield
Wood-fired fish $25

salad at kebab abo ali iraqi restaurant fairfield
Salad accompanying the lamb 

Everything comes with huge slabs of Iraqi bread, bubbled and golden at the edges like a giant naan. Round things out with a zingy tabouli salad or smoky eggplant baba ghannouj.

iraqi flat bread at kebab abo ali iraqi restaurant fairfield
Iraqi flat bread

iraqi bread at kebab abo ali iraqi restaurant fairfield
Iraqi bread with sesame seeds and nigella seeds

kebab abo ali iraqi restaurant fairfield

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Kebab Abo Ali
Shops 3-4, 83 The Crescent, Fairfield, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9723 3644

Opening hours
Monday to Sunday 10am-10pm

This article appeared in the May 2013 issue of Time Out Sydney in my monthly Food & Drink column Eat This! [Read online

Read more of my Time Out Sydney reviews
12 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 6/10/2013 12:03:00 am


  • At 6/10/2013 11:01 am, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Darnit. I've been priding myself of late on my keen interest in all things offal, but something about the unknown aspect of that bowl of sheep's head... I think it's not knowing if I'll get the eyeball. (Though I did use to love fish eyes...)

  • At 6/10/2013 1:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Love your posts, so descriptive and with great pics.
    Through your blog, I've discovered many great places
    to eat out.
    You sure do get around.

    Thanks and keep up the good work.
    Rush Dossa

  • At 6/10/2013 2:20 pm, Anonymous Chris @ MAB vs Food said…

    I would love to eat that offal with some of that flat bread!

  • At 6/10/2013 3:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love offal, it's always great to know where one can get it in Sydney, thanks for the great post!

  • At 6/10/2013 3:48 pm, Anonymous Eha said…

    This is one address I do have to post onto my Sydney friends, hoping to make it there myself in the not too distant future! looks like fabulous food, AND, I am one of those decidedly odd people it seems who absolutely love offal!!

  • At 6/10/2013 5:23 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    I would have no trouble trying every one of those dishes, and that bread is unreal. My Dad buys it from this deli in St Leonards.

  • At 6/10/2013 9:53 pm, Blogger Potato Princess said…

    The parda plaw looks yum!

  • At 6/11/2013 9:09 am, Blogger Tina @ bitemeshowme said…

    I wasn't expecting that in the Parda plaw.. actually don't know what I was expecting to be honest. Haha.

  • At 6/12/2013 9:23 am, Anonymous ChopinandMysaucepan said…

    Dear Helen,

    I love certain types of offal like beef tripe in yum cha, chicken liver pate, ox tongue in Korean BBQs. crispy pork intestines in Chinese congee but that bowl of pacha looks awfully ghastly. I'll pass being a real man for this one.

  • At 6/12/2013 9:21 pm, Anonymous Priscilla @ foodpornnation.com said…

    hahaha Oh i love how you eat and write woman!

  • At 6/14/2013 3:03 pm, Anonymous Yvonne Tee said…

    Been reading your blog since forever. Love this latest post; keep up the good work!

  • At 7/28/2013 12:11 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    OMG..I found this article by accident, this is at my father's restaurant. I showed it to my father and he is extremely happy about your opinion of our food. he really appreciate your feedback and wish to have you at our restaurant once again to serve you offal/kash/pacha and many more of Iraqi food :)))


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