I can't imagine a more authentic ethnic dining experience in Sydney than the Al Diaffah al Iraqi in Fairfield. It wouldn't surprise me if this place was transported lock stock and barrel straight out of Baghdad.
The walls are plastered thick with photos of 'old' Iraq. There are large black and white photos of Iraqi city streets scenes, archaeological treasures, portraits of families, farmers and rural vistas during 'the good old days' in Iraq prior to the arrival of Saddam Hussein.
The guy working the floor is eager to please a non Iraqi diner. With typical Iraqi hospitality, he goes out of his way to make me feel good about myself with lots of 'yes boss' and 'of course boss'.
The furniture is basic. So is the menu. Authentic simple street food with kebabs ($13.00), BBQ 'tika' chicken, lamb or fish ( $14.00) cooked using real charcoal coals. There is a typical Iraqi salad of pickled vegetables, lettuce and tomatoes ($4.50) and of course a hummus dip to eat with the deliciously soft fresh flat bread baked in the tandoor oven on the premises. All servings are huge.
Mint tea is served in tiny shot glasses and the yoghurt based Ayran drink perfectly complements the Iraqi dining experience.
In a city of themed chain restaurants, expensive hyped up celebrity chef degustation experiences and pub meals that are pretty much all the same, the great thing about eating at the Al Diafffah al Iraqi is that you know that this place is the real deal.