Lived in Sydney for three years, now back in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!
Published July 21st 2013
Authentic Lebanese cuisine in a cosy atmosphere
My introduction to Lebanase cuisine was at this very restaurant. Never having tried Lebanese food before (not that I can remember), it was a pleasant experience for me. Upon chatting with our hostess and the owner of the restaurant herself, I found out from Marcell that Arax has been at that very address for over 30 years! Now that is something for a small family-run restaurant.
Prior to visiting this quaint corner with a couple of friends, I checked out its online reviews. The opinions varied with half claiming that the restaurant served overpriced small portions that went along with its rude staff. Another half praised the family-run business due to their taste-bud tingling authentic cuisine. However, I am not one to depend on the opinions of others.
Upon arriving at Arax, we encounter a sign on the front window boasting: The Finest Lebanese Food On The North Shore. We were pleasantly surprised with the rustic and cosy decor of the place and were seated in no time. It did help that it was a weekday. I have been told that it is best to make reservations when visiting on weekends. You might even be lucky enough to catch a belly-dancer shimmying in between the tables (check this out)!
Turkish Delight (left), delicious crispy and soft bread with a Lebanese alcohol called 'arak' (right)
The menu comprises of a large selection of Italian cuisine (mostly pizzas) as well as the promised traditional Lebanese cuisine alongside a variety of appetisers and salads and desserts - they also do takeaways (click here for their online menu). We had a hard time making up our minds, finally choosing a different dish each with the intention of sharing. While we waited for our food, we were presented with two baskets of complimentary bread that kept us quite busy. The crispy bread was a good snack just as the soft one appetising, especially with the dips provided.
I am not sure of the service that other customers received but for us it was quick and efficient. Without having to wait long, our food arrived. Lets just say that the portions we were served were not to our expectation. One dish would have been more than enough for two people. Nonetheless, we did finish most of it as it was very good. The rest (including the bread) was packed into takeaway boxes.
At the end of our meal we were served a complimentary plate of homemade Turkish Delight that tied our evening up perfectly. This is definitely a place that I am looking forward to visiting again. The sign on the front window is completely justified in my opinion.