Beirut Restaurant + Grillz

Howard Chen
19th Aug 2023

When you think of great Lebanese cuisine in Sydney, what comes to mind? I'd wager you think of "The Area" or Western Sydney. But let me ask if Kogarah has ever crossed your mind? Sitting across from Kogarah station is Beirut Restaurant and Grillz, a relatively new family run establishment delivering Lebanese comfort food in spades.

While there are a few tables inside, it operates mostly as a takeaway restaurant. The menu has items you'll see at other Lebanese takeaway shops like burgers (including camel), rolls, and wraps, but they also serve plates containing Mansaf, Kafta, Tawook, Shawarma, Falafel, and some mezze as well. If you're unfamiliar with these items here's a brief rundown:

Mansaf, considered the national dish of Jordan, is a dish made by layering bread, rice and pieces of lamb chunks served with a special yogurt sauce. Think of it as like an Arabic biryani. Kafta, or Kofta is a meatball using either beef or lamb, mixed with herbs. However, rather than a meatball, think of it like a kebab. Tawook is a chicken skewer typically prepared with lemon, garlic, yoghurt, and often also contains paprika and tomato paste. It has origins from Turkey but the Lebanese have made it their own. I don't think shawarma and falafel need any introduction. 

From the menu we ordered:

$20 - Chicken Shawarma Plate with Rice, Bread, Dips, Salad

$25 - Tawook Plate with 3 Skewers, Rice, Salad Dips

$12.50 - San Francisco Roll - Chicken, Capsicum, Onion, Corn, Mushroom, Cheese, Lettuce, Mayo

$15 - Batata Harra - Crispy Potato, Garlic, Chilli, Oil, Lemon, Fresh Coriander

$6 - Toum - Homemade Garlic Sauce

The plates all come with hummus and toum. For the price you pay and the portion size you get, this place is incredible value. Upon taking a bite of the pita with rice, tabouli, and chicken, you're immediately transported to big and bold flavourtown. I'm a huge fan of big, bold flavours but if too much flavour is a detriment for you, you may not enjoy this place. The toum is very garlicky; just a touch more than El Jannah's if that's to your liking (it is to mine) and not overly lemony or acidic as I've found elsewhere.

Though I did enjoy the San Francisco Roll, the stars here are the plates. They're great value, have amazing flavour, and you see them freshly grilling before serving you. Unfortunately, the batata harra was overly lemony and sour and the only miss of the night. All in all I'm very keen to come back, especially to try the mixed plate which contains 3 skewers of lamb, beef, and chicken. Add this spot to your list.