27 February, 2023
The top 7 mezza picks to start off your meal at Lebanese restaurants

There is everything right about the way Lebanese dine. These are best experienced at Lebanese restaurants; springing up all over Sydney. 

Many diners around Sydney and surrounding suburbs venture out to indulge in a wide range of cultural experiences, looking for more than just exceptional food. 

The Lebanese banquet can consist of dozens of mezza dishes. Mezza is the Lebanese version of an ‘entre,’ technically, ‘entres.’ It is about abundance in variety and sharing amongst all who are sitting at the table. Simple, yet elaborate, mezza is consumed at a pace that allows for conversation, laughter, and experience to be included in between. 

Zahli is ranked one of Sydney’s best Lebanese cuisines, having recently been awarded Australia’s Good Food Guide’s (AGFG) number one Middle Eastern Restaurant

With much more to offer than just the perfectly snappable meals, Zahli has rightfully earned its top ranking on the list of The Rocks restaurants and, for diners, is their go-to location to enjoy either an intimate dinner or celebration with a large group.

The most fitting descriptions to depict Lebanese restaurants, in a nutshell, would most definitely have to be; flavoursome, wholesome, exotic and indulgent. 

It is a must for diners to visit a Lebanese restaurant in Sydney and mezza is a big reason why:

There are many reasons why a Lebanese restaurant is by far, one of the best places to enjoy a grand feast mixed with exotic and delectable flavours. 

Whether dining alone or with a party of anywhere between two to fifty, Lebanese cuisine knows how to cater to any size group to allow for absolute satisfaction. 

We have taken the liberty of listing the best 7 options on Lebanese mezza menu’s, that are guaranteed to have your tastebuds tingling.

Mezza is more than just food, it is a testament to the Lebanese way of life. 

No matter where you are in Lebanon, whether at dinner or at a friends house for dinner, mezza is always on offer. 

  • Sambousik

This mezza option is a common finger food among Lebanese families and the perfect appetizer to lead into a feast. These little, golden, half-moon shaped, traditional Lebanese pastries filled with flavour will delight your tastebuds and enlighten palette. 

Available with either meat or cheese filling, Sambousik is a great choice on the hot mezza list of options and a true winner among various groups of diners. 

The meat sambousik is filled with minced meat, onion, pine nuts & spices, while the cheese sambousik includes a salty melted fetta cheese with a bit of parsley. 

The irresistibly tasty fillings, complemented with the deliciously, fluffy texture of the coated puff pastry is perhaps just too good to resist. 

  • Halloumi Cheese Stack

Now, it is quite difficult to find a food guru of Mediterranian cuisine who does not absolutely LOVE a perfectly grilled piece of halloumi cheese. 

Traditionally, this mezza dish is served with tomato and olives and is drizzled with extra virgin olive oil to top it off. 

It is yet again, another favoured item on the hot mezza menu that diners cannot resist, because of its salty, stringy and flavoursome option, an ideal appetiser prior to any main meal. 

Fun fact: Halloumi is high in protein, with an average portion providing 19 grams of protein when consumed. 

  •  Makanek 

If you love sausages, these smaller Lebanese style sausages are full of zestiness that will win just about anyone over.

They are a lot smaller than normal sized sausages but are the perfect entree sized option to enjoy, without filling up before the mains. They are pan-fried and tossed with fresh lemon juice, making it extremely difficult to stop at just one. 

Perfectly coupled with Lebanese bread, these little delights are no doubt an irresistible option when dining at any Lebanese restaurant. 

  • Fried Kibbeh

Fried Kibbeh is often described as mini footballs. Their oval shape consists of a meat filling is considered a hot mezza option and is an ideal choice for those who love their meaty alternatives. 

Kibbeh that is fried into small oval shapes usually consists of a ground and crushed wheat shell which is then filled with fine pieces of minced meat, onion, pine nuts and spices. 

A meat-lovers delight. 

Coupled perfectly with Labneh (yoghurt), this mezza option is too tasty and too good, in fact, you can never stop at one. 

  • Vine Leaves

Vine leaves are one of the zestiest (and most nutritious!) mezza options. 

Every Lebanese grandmother knows how to make their own version of vine leaves, also known as ‘warak enab’ which is carefully passed down from generation to generation of food lovers.

Traditionally, the vine leaves wrap the flavoursome rice, sometimes inclusive of mincemeat, filling and are cooked to perfection, with a tremendous amount of lemon. 

A perfectly refreshing mezza. 

  • Fried Cauliflower

Cauliflower is the almost forgotten cousin of broccoli. However, Lebanese cuisine has perfected this nutritious meal and made it a real winner for vegetarian diners and is an ideal and delicious serving of veggies, full of flavour which is a great addition to any main.

Traditionally, the golden fried cauliflower is cooked to perfection and served with delicious tahini sauce to give it that extra bit of flavour.

  • Loubieh 

This mezza option is ideal for many reasons. 

It is another healthy option on the menu that is loved by both vegetarians and non-vegetarians because it is cooked in traditional tomato salsa, giving it a uniquely delicious flavour.

Loubieh is a type of green bean which is a good source of both vitamins and minerals, including a good amount of folate, which is an important B vitamin for many functions within the body, especially essential for pregnant women. 

If these mezza options don’t quite cut it for you, have a look at the full menu at Zahli Restaurant, The Rocks, for more delicious and nutritious mezza options, banquets, modern and traditional Lebanese meals. A ‘must visit’ Lebanese restaurant in Sydney, Zahli has delicately sourced its menu and has been ranked as the number one Middle Eastern restaurant by AGFG, also being awarded a certificate of excellence for 2019 by Trip Advisor. 

Lebanese food is a nutritious option that diners can indulge in without the guilt. Host your next function with Zahli Restaurant for your next date night! Book a table online or call our friendly staff on 02 9318 2228.