Monday, July 6, 2009

Abla's - Carlton

Name: Abla's

Address: 109 Elgin St
Carlton 3053 VIC
Phone: (03) 9347 0006

Food: Lebanese
Average price: Starters- $15, Main - $25, Dessert - $3
Banquet - $50 per person.

Complimentary: Baked pita chips with some olives and pickled carrots(?).We had the banquet which consisted of:
  • Mixed dips served with fresh pita - Labnee: this was tangy and creamy with a little heat. Nice.
  • Hummus bi Tahini - a nice chickpea dip with lemon and peanut-y tahini.
  • Baba Ghanooj - some found the eggplant overwhelmingly smoky but I thought it was nice.
  • Makaneek (Grilled home-made spiced lamb and beef sausages)- everyone seemed to like these sausages.
  • Silverbeet rolls (Silverbeet leaves stuffed with rice, chickpeas, tomato, herbs and spices) - similar in taste to dolmathes except the rice was a little chewy.
  • Ladies' fingers (Filo pastry cigars filled with minced lamb, pine nuts and spices) -Well liked.
  • Loubyeh (Green beans cooked in a tangy tomato sauce)- These were tender and flavourful, except they came out a little cool.
  • Chicken wings (Tender chicken wings baked with garlic and lemon juice) - everyone liked these.
  • Tabbouleh (Lebanese salad of parsley, tomato, mint, spring onion and cracked wheat)- Most liked this, I found it had a touch too much lemon.
  • Veg Sub - beans with onions - it was nice but a touch bland.
  • Kibbee (Casing of minced lamb and cracked wheat stuffed with spiced meat and pine nuts and served with laban)- everyone loved these balls of lamb, and I loved my veg ones - lovely soft texture.
  • Falafel (Patties of chick pea, broad bean, parsley, coriander and spices served with tahini tarator)- these fried chickpea fritters were too crunchy and coriander-overloaded for me, but everyone else liked them.
  • Lahem mishwee (Pieces of lamb fillet, marinated, grilled and served with tabbouleh) - chunks of marinated lamb - these were tender and Ryan wolfed them down.
  • Chicken and rice (Exquisitely flavoured rice pilaff with minced lamb, chicken and almonds) - their most famous dish, wasn't super great, but it was nice.
  • Mjadra (veg sub - Lentil and rice pilaff served with yoghurt) - this was my favourite vegetarian meal. The lentil, rice and caramelised onion pilaf went really well with the tangy yoghurt.
  • Foulia Medammas (veg sub - Broad beans with tahini, garlic and lemon juice) - these were over lemony for me but everyone else thought they were too spicy.
  • Eggplant with tomato - too watery and bland for me.
  • Battered fish with sauce (veg sub) - the fish was moist and the condiment went well.
  • Lebanese coffee - everyone enjoyed this.
  • Baklawa (4pcs)- a bit dry.
  • Turkish delight (4pcs) - no one had any so no idea what it is like.
Cost: $200 - 13 items of food per person for $50each.

Service: Ok- our water was never filled by the waitress, and on two occasions we had to ask for another bottle of water. Abla cam out to say hello and ask if we were ok (one of us was 1metre from the door so there was a lot of draughts). She was very friendly.

Atmosphere: Noisy - the room is tiny - about 8 tables downstairs. A table of 9 was next to us and they were very boisterous which made us have to raise our voices to carry on a conversation. The decor is very homely with dark green hues and maroon fabric chairs.

Parking: Decent - there is a large amount of street parking -however as it close to Lygon st it does tend to fill up quickly at night.


Hours: Thurs-Fri: noon-3pm;
Mon-Sat: 6-11pm

Would I return: No - i is good value for money, but my yia yia makes similar food for free and it gives me an extra reason to visit more often.

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