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Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Al Shami, Merrylands

Middle Eastern skewers, Syrian muhamara, and Jordanian mansaf at Al Shami in Merrylands

Where can you eat Syrian food in Sydney? We're glad you asked. Head to Al Shami in Merrylands where they’re serving up dishes from both Syria and neighbouring Lebanon to a non-stop arrival of ex-pats. Couples? Friends? Families? They’re all here.

Muhamara walnut and red capsicum dip at Al Shami in Merrylands
Muhamara $8
Walnut and red capsicum dip

The first thing you need to order is the muhammara, a spicy dip traditionally made from the Aleppo chilli pepper. Grab a round of soft Lebanese bread from the ready-packed bags on each table and savour the subtle chilli kick that builds slowly on your palate, its spiciness tempered by the sweetness of pomegranate molasses and the scattered crunch of crushed walnuts.

Shish barak beef mince dumplings in yoghurt sauce at Al Shami in Merrylands
Shish barak $15
Beef mince dumplings in yoghurt sauce

Continue with shishbarak, a warm dumpling dish found across Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq. Each delicate dumpling skin holds a mouthful of spiced beef mince, cooked in a rich yoghurt sauce that has just enough garlic to make you definitely want more.

Jordanian mansaf at Al Shami in Merrylands
Jordanian mansaf $24
Basmati rice with lamb shank and dried yoghurt sauce (back left)

The mansaf, listed as Jordanian on the menu, is another dish worth investigating. It’s a large plate (mansaf) of buttery basmati rice served with a hulk of a slow-cooked lamb shank. The meat is so tender it just takes a nudge to make it fall clean off the bone.

Jameed yoghurt soup at Al Shami in Merrylands
Jameed yoghurt soup

Pour over as little or as much jameed broth as you please, a distinctly tangy soup made from dried fermented yoghurt that’s revered by locals.

Falafel donuts at Al Shami in Merrylands
Falafel donuts

If raw kebbeh – seasoned raw lamb mince with bulghur wheat – isn’t your thing, the vegetarian plate will be. It’s a mini party platter of tabouli, hommous and baba ghannouj eggplant dip plus two mini falafels in the shape of donuts. You won’t find cuter falafel.

Mix plate skewers at Al Shami in Merrylands
Al Shami mix plate $24
Marinated chicken breast, lamb and kafta served with garlic dip and the falafel and dip plate below

Round it all out with the Al Shami mix plate, a trio of grilled skewers speared with lamb cubes, lamb mince and chicken pieces. Still hungry? Give into temptation and order the broasted chicken – that’s pressure fried chicken that combines golden batter with supreme juiciness. Cr-unch.

Falafel, hummus, tabouli and baba ghanouj at Al Shami in Merrylands
Falafel, hummus, tabouli and baba ghanouj included with the mix plate

Al Shami Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Al Shami
102-106 Railway Terrace, Merrylands, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 8677 1671

Opening hours
Wednesday to Monday 11am-10.30pm

This article first appeared in Time Out Sydney. Read this article online or read more of my Time Out Sydney reviews.

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4 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 1/09/2018 12:59:00 am


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