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A1 Lebanese Bakery is abuzz today with their lunch time rush of hungry patrons. My previous visits were in quieter times and I watched in awe as the staff moved quickly, processing orders in hushed Lebanese tones.
I was having fun watching the speed of cooking and serving. Music played in the background, overcome by orders being exchanged in all directions.
There are many freshly baked items available in both meat and vegetarian. The order came quickly, well I believe it did, as perhaps the time passed quickly as I stared around in wonder. Amongst the shelved treasures was a familiar religious icon, beautifully framed, and flanked by small drums, no doubt tight and resonant, along with large hookah pipes.
A great place to take the kids for a cultural experience.
The coffee here is superb and this bakery has an amazing array of sugary, nutty sweets to accompany the crisp, creamy brew.
For those who haven't discovered Dandenong yet, it has had a huge makeover which has greatly lifted the street appeal of the shops and restaurants. A street away is the new Afghan Bazaar Cultural Precinct which is due for completion in December. This is a City of Greater Dandenong council initiative and will include better lighting, new urban design and cultural elements provided by the Afghan community and traders. This was in consultation with the wider community and I'm really excited Dandenong is so innovative.
A large flat white and a baked lunch with spinach and cheese.
I'm still sitting in the A1 Bakery front portico enjoying the fresh air from the concertina windows as I share this experience with you. To my delight, I have found a lot of information about this precinct on the Greater Dandenong web site including Afghan Bazaar Cultural Tours promising a captivating journey with 'exotic music, fashion and tantalising food'. Forgetting which country's experience I'm enjoying, some ladies having a lively chat in Lebanese laden with bags full of very fresh Lebanese bread (yes the flat yummy bread that is great for a base for a quick pizza for the kids, or a fresh wrap of anything grated), bought me back to my present experience of coffee and baklava.
The prices are teeny tiny and perfect for hungry teens. Mine ordered an oregano pizza for one and was happy to be surrounded by such a culturally stimulating experience. I have always managed to find parking right out front but ensure you feed that meter the modest amount asked!
The A1 Bakery is perfect for a quick snack or lunch and it was a joy to be so welcomed by the staff: Sami, Azar & Elias Abdallah.