I am a freelance reviewer in Sydney, and lover of sharing my experiences in all things food, wine, entertainment and travel related.
Published April 27th 2013
A Little Slice of Lebanon in Newtown
Bringing top notch ethnic food to the city fringe, one no longer has to travel the distance to get good quality, authentic Lebanese food in Sydney, with thanks to Al Aseel restaurant in Newtown.
The word 'Aseel' is and Arabic name and adjective that means original, authentic, genuine and pure, and that's exactly what you get from the cuisine in this restaurant.
With its sister restaurants in Greenacre, Lakemba and Surry Hills, Al Aseel in Newtown adds another city location to this popular Lebanese restaurant which is popular with locals and visitors alike.
Forget the bells and whistles of a typical Lebanese restaurant like the heavy Middle Eastern décor and exotic belly dancers. Al Aseel in Newtown is a refined and contemporary Lebanese restaurant that focuses more on the belly – with A-grade food and service in a modern setting.
The restaurant sits within a beautiful sandstone cottage on Missenden Road, Newtown, and is decorated with modern stacked stone feature walls and subtle ethnic touches, such as the water carafe collections next to the bar.
Knowing that Lebanese cuisine is tasty and filling, and usually of feast proportions, it's wise not to over order.
The menu is comprehensive but offers a list of dishes to cater to all tastes and requirements offering authentic Lebanese dips, breads, falafels, mixed meat plates and platters, salads, desserts and a large selection of wines and beers, in addition to Lebanese coffee.
The smokey eggplant dip with cashews and chilli is the perfect partner for the Lebanese bread on the table takes the taste buds on an interesting journey.
Opting for a platter that has a bit of everything, try the Al Aseel Lamb Mixed Platter which has piping hot and well spiced lamb skewers, tabbouli, falafel and three dips including hommus, babagannoush and labne. All of the items are heavenly fresh, flavoursome and of top quality.
Elitist. Cold. Efficient. Moderately good food. Expensive. My partner’s and my dinner at Al Aseel (Newtown) is described like this.
Elitist. Because we ordered less than the average couple we were snubbed. God they’re so cool. That Timeout restaurant award must have gone to their heads.
Cold. No “thank yous” at all. In fact hardly any speech at all.
Moderately good food. It wasn’t bad (but more authentic and reasonably priced places like Shish Tawook in Regents Park crap all over this place).
Expensive. $44 sangria. $28 fish (for a small fillet with rice, no salad). Just amazing.
The Lebanese is not authentic. The everything is overpriced. Most of all they weren’t nice. I didn’t tip which is very rare.