27 February, 2023
5 mezza picks worth sampling in Lebanese dining

Lebanese cuisine has become more and more popular and is now enjoyed all over the world. If you’ve indulged in a Lebanese dining experience you have most probably enjoyed a plate of tabouli, hummus and fattoush. But there is much more to Lebanese cuisine than these “safe” classics. Step out of your comfort zone and try something different. What is your take on raw meat, liver and lamb brains?

We are here to let you in on 5 of our lesser known mezza picks, served at Zahli Restaurant The Rocks, Sydney CBD.

Chicken liver: served at Lebanese restaurants in Sydney CBD

There are two types of people in the world; those who eat chicken liver and those who don’t. 

Yes, we understand how daunting this may sound to try, but we promise it is not as bad as you think. Pan-fried with garlic, coriander, fresh lemon juice and spices, you probably won’t even recognise what you’re eating after all the delicious marination. Chicken liver is loved across Lebanon and also quite expensive to get your hands on. Although this is not on everybody’s menu list and more of an acquired taste, there is no harm in trying it at Zahli – one of the best restaurants in Sydney CBD. We make sure our chicken liver is cooked and spiced to perfection. Who knows, you may even learn to LOVE it.

Lamb brains: served at Lebanese restaurants in Sydney CBD

Can I even eat a lamb’s brain? If you haven’t tried it, we recommend testing it out the Zahli way – one of the best casual Lebanese restaurants in Sydney CBD. Golden-fried lamb brains, coated in garlic, coriander and bread crumbs, served with lemon garlic sauce. This dish is great if you are looking to try something different. It has deep historical roots for the Lebanese – families used to slaughter lambs and cook the brains as they could not afford to waste anything. The special lemon garlic sauce is what elevates the dish and makes it special. Lamb’s brains are soft-tissue meat – this is usually prepared by partially boiling them and then pan-frying it with garlic, lemon, salt and pepper.

Kibbeh nayye

Kibbeh nayye consists of minced raw lamb mixed with finely blended and mixed crushed wheat herbs and special condiments – usually served with a side of fresh greens and olive oil. Raw meat may sound scary, however, the Lebanese have perfected it and ensured it is safe to consume. 

Although the Health Authorities may think differently, the Lebanese have their own rules for safe enjoyment of kibbeh nayye. A traditional dish loved by Lebanese people and one that has been part of the culture for many decades. Kibbeh nayye should be eaten fresh, raw and usually with a bundle of Lebanese pita bread – either fresh or crispy. Zahli, one of the best Lebanese restaurants in The Rocks, Sydney plates up the most amazing Kibbeh nayye that will have you coming back for more.


Have you heard of muhammara? One of the most delicious and under-rated dips that you will try! Muhammara is a Middle Eastern dip made with walnuts, roasted red capsicum/peppers, garlic lemon, bread crumbs and pomegranate molasses. This dip is a popular part of a traditional Lebanese cold mezza and is often served with toasted pita or pita bread. The word muhammara means “red” and describes the vibrant colour you will get from making the dip. Muhammara is also very easy to make, all you have to do is throw all the ingredients into a food processor all at once and blend it for a couple of minutes. However, the key to making a good muhammara is the balance of flavours. At Zahli, we have perfected our muhammara and can assure you that it is the best one you will try!  


Shanklish is a Middle Eastern cheese with a similar texture to feta made from yoghurt whey. The cheese is salted, shaped into balls and aged. Once it is matured, it is coated in dried thyme, and sometimes chilli. At Zahli, our shanklish is a spicy aged cheese, mixed with tomato, onion and parsley, topped with fresh pomegranate seeds. This Middle Eastern cheese tastes dry, salty and pungent served as a mezza with fresh vegetables. If you want to try this dish, we recommend you share the experience with us at Zahli – one of the best Lebanese restaurants in Sydney CBD.

Here at Zahli, in Elizabeth Street, Sydney CBD, we have brought Lebanese cuisine to life. Step out of your comfort zone the next time you visit us and try some of our unique and daunting mezza picks. 

There is no other place to indulge in Lebanese food – Zahli is simply the best Lebanese restaurant in The Rocks, Sydney CBD. 

Reserve your table today on (02) 9318 2228