Why Winter in Sydney is Best Spent Eating Lebanese Food at Zahli

Our warm winter favourites

Winter in Sydney has its charm, however, it can get cold quite quickly. While Sydney is the  perfect spot for enjoying the beautiful warm weather, when autumn and winter hit, everyone heads indoors and goes in search of food that is delicious enough to warm the soul. Enter, Lebanese food.

Lebanon has a typical Mediterranean climate with four clearly defined seasons. Over the years, their food has been shaped by their history as well as their climate, developing dishes that are suitable for eating during spring, summer, autumn and winter. Because of this geographical result, Lebanese restaurants around the world offer dishes that are perfect for each season.

At Zahli, this is no different. Our menu is developed around traditional and authentic Lebanese recipes, some of which are just right for a cold autumn or winter’s lunch or dinner. In this article, we’ll identify 5 dishes on our current menu that are perfect for when the temperature drops low. 

How does Lebanese food accommodate the cold weather in Sydney?

Before we get into the specific dishes offered by Zahli, let’s first analyse the approach that the Lebanese people took in developing their winter recipes. With imports and technology, many of the obstacles that the Lebanese people hundreds of years ago had to overcome are now no longer issues, however, some of their intentions with their winter food are still relevant.

Here are a few of the reasonings behind many of the Lebanese dishes consumed during this time:

– Turning dishes into soups/stews was meant to provide warmth to the body. E.g. While not offered at Zahli, a great example of this is kibbeh labanieh which is kibbeh that’s been cooked in yoghurt.

– Foods and meats that are high in fat such as sambousik cheese, labneh, goat and lamb were consumed to improve cold tolerance.

– Similar to foods high in fat, spinach, which is an excellent source of plant-based protein, is also commonly eaten during winter because of its cold-resistant nature.

5 of the best Lebanese dishes to eat at Zahli during Sydney’s winter

Sambousik cheese

Sambousik cheese is a pastry that’s filled with feta cheese and parsley. The pastry is served hot so that when you bite into it, a warm and cheesy filling oozes out. While the warmth of this hot mezza is certainly a benefit, so is the cheese. Feta cheese is high in protein and fat, two elements that are considered to be cold-resistant and great for a winter dinner.

Spinach pastry

Spinach pastry is a traditional Lebanese pastry that’s filled with spinach, onion & sumac. Similar to sambousik cheese, it is served warm which during the winter is extremely satisfying and beneficial. Spinach pastry also has an additional benefit: it is high in iron and protein. Iron and protein can help your body to build resistance against the cold. As was mentioned before, spinach was eaten a lot during Lebanon’s winters for precisely this reason.

Lahem mishwee

Zahli’s lahem mishwee is particularly perfect for a winter’s night. This dish contains char grilled tender lamb marinated in mixed spices, served with chilli bread & mouhamara sauce. First, lamb meat is high in fat and protein which is perfect for defending against Sydney’s winter. Second, as we’ve mentioned previously, mouhamara is excellent during the winter, as is the spice and heat brought by our chilli bread.

Knafe with cheese

Dessert is extra-delicious during winter. Our knafe with cheese dessert is a fine semolina base that is layered with cheese and baked until golden, topped with bread crumbs and pistachios and served with sweet syrup. It is served warm, making it incredibly comforting on a cold night and has the added benefit of being high in protein (because of the cheese). 

Try out these warm winter dishes at Zahli!

If you are interested in indulging in authentic Lebanese food then Zahli, Modern Middle Eastern restaurant can gladly provide a memorable meal on a cold winter’s night. 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.