I am a freelance journalist and an author living in Sydney. Writing is a passion and I enjoy everyday indulging in the talent that I am gifted with. You can find me on au.linkedin.com/pub/sharmila-jayasinghe-niriella/21/182/467/
Published January 17th 2017
Tantalising Armenian delights in Melbourne
Known for its fertile food culture, it was no surprise to find all kinds of delights to tantalise our taste buds during our nights in the city of Melbourne. Most certainly the crowning glory of our nightly rendezvous had to be the delightful Armenian restaurant which is known as Sezar . Who would have thought the black painted walls down a short laneway would be hiding a joint with such great flavours and great character.
Walking in through to the mystery of the place, we were enchanted by the warmth extended by the cheery waitstaff. The sheer crowds dining built excitement for us as it undoubtedly spoke volumes regarding the quality of food served. The menu is extensive and complicated; or so to one who hasn't tasted Armenian cuisine before. Nothing to fear as the waiting staff are more than happy to make recommendations and guide you through the intricacies of each dish. First came the "small", which was in other words, an entree. The hummus with a drizzle of brown butter served with flatbread was the ideal start to the symphony of flavours that was to follow. It was no surprise that by the end of the delights some of us had to loosen the buttons on our pants.
A rice dish with rich flavours
The delights kept floating through to the dining hall, landing on our plates. The Kataifi wrapped lamb neck accompanied the hummus and the bread as part of the "small", but the flavours they carried were certainly "large". The lamb neck was a pocket size bomb of flavours and crunchiness which we could not get enough of. Though there was that urge to order more, we resisted wanting to go on and try the Michag or the "medium" set of dishes as it's called, and then go on to do the Medz or the "large". Hailing from a rice eating background, dinner for us wouldn't have been complete without adding a bit of rice in there and the rice that the Armenians served was most certainly a delightful surprise. I couldn't quite put my finger on as to how it was all done, but there was a slight fried element, paired with spiciness and a hint of sweetness giving the rice dish a unique combination of extremely palatable textures and flavours.
Kataifi wrapped lamb neck
Though we would have loved to have tried out the Anoush or "Sweets", and some of the Kove or "Sides", the Medz dish of Slow cooked lamb shoulder was the one that made us all hit a food wall. With its unique flavours, the juicy and tender meat just took our taste buds to a whole new level. The meat, cooked on bone, just fell apart in your mouth. Once we were all done with the lamb, not a crumb was left behind - that's how good it was. If all Armenian food tasted this good, it is a cuisine that I could happily get used to.