Kate reviews: Bekka
22 Hall St
Click PLAY below to hear Kate’s review on 3AW Breakfast
Things are promising from the moment you enter Bekka.
Directly in front of you is the kitchen, and a long bench filled with bowls of bright, fresh, ingredients – pickles, vegetables, sauces – just a colourful assortment of vibrant-looking food stuffs.
There’s so much to like here, it’s hard to know where to start.
It’s a huge menu, which can mean the paradox of choice is a factor, but when almost every dish is priced under $15, why make a choice? You may as well order it all!
We’re talking Lebanese mezza – so lots of small, tasty, dishes to share.
The Baba Ganouj is some of the best I’ve tasted – charred eggplant, garlic, lemon juice and tahini blitzed to make a gorgeous smoky dip, scooped up with soft, fresh pita.
Despite being a fan of Middle Eastern food, there were plenty of dishes I’ve never tried before – the makaneek are lamb and beef sausages with paprika and spices made specially for Bekka by their local butcher.
Served simply with a lemon cheek, they’s tasty, meaty and moreish.
A traditional “moujadara” is usualy cooked like a risotto, here at Bekka they add some potato to the requisite lentils, rice, caramelised onion, and spices; the mixture is crumbed and served like a croquette, with a bright beetroot labne for good measure.
Kibbeh is not usually a dish I’d jump at it, like felafel is can so often be a disappointment – dry and flavourless.
Here, it’s anything but – the meat and burghul shells are filled with a juicy minced lamb, pinenut and onion mixture, and the house-made labne on the side makes a perfect tangy accompaniment.
The simple cheese triangles were a favourite, super soft pastry and a tasty combo of haloumi and feta; followed closely by the meat cigars with a lamb mince filling and sweet pomegranate molasses.
We kept eating – shanklish salad, tabouli, green beans with tomato & 7 spice, lamb skewers and kafta.
I don’t know what we were thinking, it was an obscene amount of food for three people but it was just all so good.
To wash it down – a great bottle of Lebanese red wine was good value at $55.
And so the damage, for more food than we could possibly finish and a decent bottle of red?
Just $185 for three people, $60 per head. We could easily have dropped three dishes and it would have been more than enough.
It’s the epitome of Middle Eastern dining here – tasty, fresh, largely healthy dishes, in generous serves with buckets of hospitality – the locals should count themselves lucky they can boast about Bekka.