Working in Armidale all day, fly in and land in Sydney at 6:30pm. It’s 7pm by the time I get home. I’m exhausted and had received really bad news the night before, so am in no condition to cook or even think about it. We decide to go for a walk and get take away from Erciyes on Cleveland St, but then en route decide to head to Cafe Mint instead. Now, I’ve posted before about Cafe Mint, but that time it was lunch.
I really do adore this place, and in particular Hugh Foster’s interesting take on Middle Eastern food.
I was after comfort food and boy did I get it! I started with the Sweet Mint Tea…this totally reminds me of my childhood and the hot sweet tea my father would drink. Though this has much less of the tannic teeth hurtiness than black tea..
The Boyfriend stuck with what he knew: the baba ghanouj, hoummous and tzatziki with turkish bread with za’atar, the spinach & fetta triangles and the grilled haloumi with lemon…
Being of Middle Eastern background, I judge places based on their hoummous and baba ghanouj. This baba ghanouj is superb, good smokiness, gorgeously light and smooth.
I was about to order the spice rubbed lamb fillet with roast beetroot, jewelled rice and candied orange yoghurt when I spied an item featuring merguez sausages! Beef Cheek M’hammer with merguez sausages, white beans, preserved lemons and figs…
This dish was a divine mix of the white beans with veggies and the figs, the sausages are made IN HOUSE!!!! They were truly delicious and the stand out in this gorgeous dish. The only thing missing was some rice or couscous to soak up the goodness…
On to dessert! while I was eating my dinner I was also eyeing off the cold case that housed a range of baked and chilled goods, in particular the gorgeously pink mullhalebia: rosewater milk custard..I was super keen on this until the table next to us received their dessert. Boyfriend and I were both mesmerised…it was ice cream..orange and pistachio ice cream with pashmak and a vermicelli biscuit.
Boyfriend didn’t love it. I did, though to me, there was no hint of pistachio. What was overwhelming was the hit of orange. It was as though they had mixed homemade sweet orange marmalade into the ice cream..very strongly flavoured. If you don’t like marmalade you defintely won’t like this. The pashmak, Iranian fairy floss is gorgeous and light. I’m most intrigued, however, by the vermicelli biscuit. The vermicelli is the kind that my mother would cook with traditional rice (wow, can’t belive there’s a wiki reference to it!) but instead of cooking it with rice, they’ve somehow formed it into a biscuit and baked it till it’s browned and crisp. Just divine!
Couldn’t finish the beef cheek, so the delightful Joe, packed it up and sent me home with it. Such a lovely space, and fabulous food. Well worth the visit.
579 Crown Street
02 9319 0848