27 February, 2023
5 refreshing dishes to try at our Lebanese restaurant this summer

As summer has arrived in Sydney, everyone is preparing to do one of the best things you can – dine at your favourite restaurants. Summer is perfect for enjoying a night out, especially if you have the right company and food. While there is food that is perfect for winter (soup), there is also food that’s great for summer. During the summer, you don’t want heavy or extremely hot food that will make you feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable at the dinner table; instead, you want light and refreshing, but still, delicious food that leaves room for dessert. Lebanese food is the perfect cuisine for summer in Sydney. 

If you’re unfamiliar with or new to Lebanese food, then it can be difficult to sort through dishes and determine what’s best to order for takeaway or when dining in during the summer. In this article, we’ll guide you through our menu by identifying our favourite dishes to have during the summer. Refer to this list the next time you dine with friends at Zahli!

5 refreshing dishes to try at our Lebanese restaurant this summer

The Zahli

While not a traditional Lebanese salad, our house salad, The Zahli, is full of delicious Australian produce and infused with classic Lebanese flavours. The salad is made up of rocket leaves, beetroot, Spanish onion and walnuts. It is flavoured with sumac, lemon juice and olive oil, giving the filling and bold salad a punch of flavour and brightness. 

We highly recommend this salad for the summer because it is extremely filling and healthy, but refreshing at the same time. The flavours of the salad don’t weigh down your palate, nor do they overwhelm you with spice in the warm weather. 


Mutabal is a refreshing cold mezza dish that cools you down but lights up your palate. Mutabal is made up of smoked chargrilled fresh eggplant, tomato, Spanish onion capsicum and topped with fresh pomegranate seeds. It’s flavoured with garlic, parsley and fresh lemon juice, making the entire dish a flavour bomb. 

This dish is great all-year-round, however, we especially recommend it for summer because it is intensely flavoured and meaty in texture, but still refreshing and bright. This unique combination makes it a top-tier summer dish and is sure to have your entire table raving about it.


Labneh is a Lebanese yoghurt cheese. It’s made by straining the yogurt until it is insanely creamy and thick. At Zahli, we sprinkle oregano and sesame seeds over our labneh to provide an earthy dimension of flavour.

While we won’t usually recommend a creamy dish for summer, labneh is different. Due to the process of fermentation for yogurt, it is bright and slightly acidic in flavour. This brightness makes labneh a lot brighter and more complex in flavour than other cheeses. This plays well during the summer as its flavour profile stops the cheese from being overwhelming. Instead, the cheese provides a cool and refreshing element to the meal, making it perfect for summer.

Kibbeh nayye

So far, there haven’t been any meat dishes on our list. While we love meat during the summer, especially since it’s the perfect season for chargrilling, we thought we’d introduce you to a lesser-known, but still delicious meat dish. Kibbeh nayye is a fresh raw lamb meat dish that’s blended with crushed wheat and served with fresh greens and olive oil. It is incredibly light and flavourful and is served cold, making it a surprisingly refreshing meat dish for a hot summer night. 

Lebanese premium mastic ice-cream

While many desserts are perfect for a cold winter’s night, mastic ice-cream is the best on a hot summer day or night. The ice-cream gets its unique texture from resin from the Mastic tree which makes it chewy and thick. At Zahli, the deliciously stretchy ice-cream is available in Turkish delight, roasted pistachio, sweet sesame halwa, fig jam and walnut, chocolate and cinnamon. 

We hope that this article helps you to try new dishes and enjoy your summer dining experience a little bit more. We promise that you’ll love every one of these dishes! If you are interested in indulging in authentic Middle-Eastern food then Zahli, Modern Middle Eastern restaurant can gladly provide a memorable meal. Zahli is here to provide you with a culinary experience like no other. Call us on (02) 9318 2228 to reserve a table or for pick-up orders.