One of my greatest passions in life is food. I am often told that I should broaden my horizons and find other interests, but it's so hard to equally divide my attention across different creative art forms, especially when food is just so good, and places such as Al Mustafa in Glebe make that task even more of a challenge.
As you turn onto Glebe Pt Road from Broadway, a huge yellow sign draws you in like moths to a flame, and wait staff are waiting to greet you with their warm smiles. The restaurant has two areas, one upstairs for parties and celebrations, and one downstairs for a la carte dining.
As I was attending an event I was kindly guided up the few flights of stairs and transported to Lebanon. The colourful room was lit by hanging lanterns and decorated with plush cushions to sit on. The roof was adorned with red drapes. Already I was breath taken by Al Mustafa.
Shortly after being seated we were offered drinks whilst we awaited the arrival of the rest of the party. It was not long till after they showed up that the table started being filled with piles of amazing and delicious food. Al Mustafa offers a banquet for parties and celebrations, making it an easy way to feed everyone and try a little bit of everything. There are a few banquet options ranging from $30-$55 where a variety of Lebanese dishes are brought out and adorn your table, and those of which you like you can order until your heart is content. So they basically work out to be all-you-can-eat, and come complete with breads and dips, salads, and a variety of meat dishes, followed by a tray of sweet treats and sumptuous Lebanese coffee.
Already with the quality of food and lovely service, you feel you have definitely got your money's worth. However, just when you did not think the night could get better, in between filling yourself on main course, and sending yourself into food coma following desserts, you are entertained by a belly dancing show. Dinner and a show; could it get much better? The belly dancers are announced by a quick change of music and everyone's eyes are drawn to the bright coloured outfits and shaking hips of the dancers who dance out a routine and then invite members of the audience to come and join for a bit of fun. Naturally the whole restaurant is in uproar at this time as their familiar friends and family are humiliated for the other participants to enjoy.
Al Mustafa offers a very comfortable atmosphere, complete with soothing ethnic music playing in the background loud enough to be enjoyed but not so empowering that conversation cannot be heard. They also cater for a variety of food intolerances such a gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options. The night in whole was a great hit and definitely a place suitable for a large get together or even a romantic evening. Note to self: Will have to revisit soon!