A moment of severe food envy at Little Lebanon, Osborne Park

If there’s one thing I can say I’ve learned from my ‘Queen of Bad Timing’ journey, it’s that you get out of your blog what you put in. And it’s that exact reasoning that has led me to explore not just my tasty favourite spots, but to try new places and seek out beautiful dishes, flavours and produce. So much of food blogging is visual which means I can’t help sometimes but gravitate towards places I know plate up their meals in an aesthetically pleasing manner. 
But quite often I find my tastebuds demanding that I prioritise them over my visual senses. When I found myself recently at Little Lebanon restaurant, as soon as our food touched down on the table, I knew my photos weren’t going to be the prettiest… but the smell alone had me convinced it would be a wonderful meal. 

Situated in Osborne Park, Little Lebanon is right across my old beautician, and is a place I’ve seen swarming with happy diners on all nights of the week. Having a bit of a fixation on The Hummus Club and The Prophet, I am one hundred percent committed to Arabic food, and though the garlic practically seeps out of your pores when you’re done – it’s so worth it.

My friends Vee, Linda, Jay and I try to see each other at least every fortnight for what we affectionately refer to as family dinner. We’ve all been friends longer than we can count, and in the haze of adult working life, our catch ups are not just cathartic, they’re something we all look forward to greatly. And if you’ve ever been in the same place at the same time as us… well sorry about that because we laugh the entire time, get louder and louder with mirth and I’m happy to report I’m not the only one who holds up the eating process by taking photos.

Whenever we do go out for dinner we try to visit a new or different place that we haven’t been to all together. Naturally there are some favourites in there that we revisit, but for the most part we’re pretty good at getting around within our lovely city. That’s what brought up to Little Lebanon one Thursday night after work.

Linda and I were the first to arrive and shared a pot of freshly brewed peppermint tea while we waited for the others to arrive. The piping hot tea had actual mint leaves inside, enhancing the flavour and emitting a wonderful aroma. I’ve said it before and nothing’s changed – I really don’t like hot beverages in stemless glasses unless they’re the double coated ones that don’t burn your fingers. No such luck here so I had to add a splash of cold water to each cup so I could actually pick it up.

Once the others arrived, we ordered quickly – noting that the previously empty restaurant was fast filling up with diners. The food doesn’t take too long to come out, and it all looks hearty, and smells amazing. I love that heady scent of spices!

We’ve all ordered a main each, plus a serving of the fried cauliflower with tahini dressing ($12.00) to share. The plating is rustic, but the flavours are beyond tried and true, plus the serving sizes are ridiculously huge. I’m talking we probably could have gone with two mains between the four of us and been perfectly happy. I love that! There was definitely some takeaway action after we finished eating.

Vee and I both order the lamb mansaf ($20.00) which comes with spiced rice and cashews, plus a salad on the side. The lamb has been roasted and is scattered on the plate in chunky pieces. It’s flavoursome and plentiful, but the real star of the dish is definitely the rice. I couldn’t stop eating it!

Jay’s kafta platter ($17.00) was made of two skewers of minced lamb, marinated with onions, parsely and special spices, served with salad, hommus & garlic. He had the option of rice or chips with it, which he chose the latter much to all of our happiness (we literally all gave a little fist pump and a ‘yesssss!’). The kaftas were cooked perfectly and looked a treat piled high on top of the other ingredients. And those chips – well they were just as satisfying as we all had hoped!

As much as we all enjoyed our dinners, we were all unanimous in announcing extreme food envy when we tried Linda’s chicken schwarma ($17.00). The picture is definitely deceiving because this was an incredible amount of food, consisting of shredded chicken marinated in mixed herbs and served with garlic sauce, salad and spiced pita bread. 
The chicken was so tender and juicy, melting in our mouths. The flavour was intensely good, so much so that we all abandoned our own meals and started feasting away at her’s. This was just such a simple and yet so impressive dish. I’m still jealous I didn’t have it as my own!
I can’t believe it took me so long to get to Little Lebanon… but now that I’ve been I’m dreaming of going back. I need to get my hands on their falafel, plus of course my own chicken schwarma with more of that legit garlic sauce. 
This place is definitely the business. I think when I saw it from the outside I was overwhelmed by the large packs of guys hanging out smoking shisha, but everyone there was actually so respectful and relaxed. It’s nice to see that it’s a place that people gravitate towards within the burbs, offering food, drink and leisurely time to while away. I can see the appeal, and I myself have fallen prey to their spell. 

Little Lebanon Cafe & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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  • Reply
    31 May 2015 at 7:59 am

    I was here with my friends from Pakistan and Ireland a month ago. He said that Little Lebanon was one of the better places in town for Halal cuisine! Fallafel for starters, was yums! I also had the grilled lamb as a main before washing the meal down with a glass Lebanese lemonade. It was a really enjoyable dinner!

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    1 June 2015 at 11:31 am

    I so want the falafel!! Need to get on that 🙂 I couldn't get past the chicken schwarma, it really stayed with me haha

  • Reply
    Annie Long
    6 June 2015 at 1:43 pm

    I just stumbled across your blog from this post….. this is one of my favourite go to relaxed diners, always a crowd pleaser

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    7 June 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Welcome! It is a great place, I keep thinking about it and how there's lot of dishes I want to try!

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