Du Liban, meaning "From Lebanon" in French is a bakery and cafe in a side street of Marrickville. Here they focus on a range of Lebanese items from terrifically moreish manoush, a Lebanese style pizza with a variety of toppings as well as cafe style drinks with a twist. The Golden Milk is a warming and delicious drink made with turmeric, ginger and white pepper with your choice of milk. All of the flour used in the baked goods is organic.
A couple of months ago our friend Gravy Beard and his girlfriend Annie recommended a place to us. "If you ever feel like going, give us a call and we'll meet you there," he said as it is a quick drive from their house in Marrickville. Then a couple of weeks later Belinda sent me through the link to Du Liban and one unseasonably warm Winter's day we decided to pay it a visit.
Alas Gravy Beard was feeling the effects of a late poker night but Belinda joined us one Sunday afternoon for lunch here. The outside tables are bathed in sunshine but there are also smokers so we sit inside. One table is taken while another is half occupied. "Come sit here," says a friendly man sitting at the other table when he sees us hesitating momentarily.
The atmosphere is warm and comfortable and service is very friendly. Du Liban (from "From Lebanon in French) is the first eatery from Dorrie Krahe and Raed Malas. "We also loved the idea of combining the typical Lebanese bakery with the contemporary Australian bakery; using quality organic flour and also adding coffee with our unique coffee blend, set in a rustic and comfortable space," says Dorrie. The kitchen in the back produces all of the baked goods and these are displayed in the front cabinet or sent out to the brand new city store in Erksine Street.
The food comes out before the drinks and our food arrives all at once. The first things we try are the manoush pizzas that have been warmed up for us. "Our main focus is the manoush and it's simplicity and versatility. We love how tasty and satisfying it is as an anytime food and have enjoyed pairing it with different wrap options like the slow roasted lamb wrap or shawarma chicken wrap both of which have become our most popular lunch items," explains Dorrie. The meat is a single serve sized mini pizza topped with ground meat, onion and tomato with a thin crust to it. I usually like a bit of cumin or spice on this but it is fresh and lemony.
Cheese and tomato pizza $3.50
However it's the gently warmed cheese and tomato pizza or manoush, remarkably simple but with a little hint of spice at the end that we really go for. The dough is puffy in the base and it is full of flavour even with the very simple toppings. All of the flour used in the baked goods is certified organic. "Manoush is always delicious to eat but because the cheapest white flour and sometimes lots of yeast are used to make large amounts of it quickly we found we often felt a little bloated or dissatisfied after," says Dorrie.
Shanklish pie $4.50
The folded over triangles are pies and we go for the pinky hued one. This is shanklish cheese mixed with tomato and onion and dusted with nigella seeds and would make a great snack on the go.
Chicken Wrap Za'atar topped with marinated char grilled chicken, lettuce, pickles and our garlic yoghurt sauce$11.80
It's time for the bigger meals and the wraps are substantial and look very good indeed. The chicken is filled with shawarma chicken, home made garlic labneh, wild cucumber pickles and ice berg lettuce on a za'atar wrap. And even though I have a lot to eat for the rest of the day I can't help but finish my portion of this and seek Mr NQN's share too. The chicken and tangy garlic goes well against the pickles and crunchy lettuce.
Lamb Wrap Za'atar topped with slow roasted lamb shoulder, lettuce, fresh mint and garlic yoghurt sauce $11.80
Belinda prefers this wrap slightly more and it's rich in lamb flavour with plenty of soft, slow cooked lamb, fresh mint to lift the lamb, salad and pickles. It falls apart slightly when eating but we manage to save it from going all over the place by hunching over the rolls and eating hungrily. Yep it wasn't a pretty sight but it was good.
Golden Milk $4.50
The drinks arrive and I try the Golden Milk with turmeric, ginger and white pepper heated with your choice of cow's, almond or soy milk. You can also choose either honey or maple syrup to sweeten it. It's a warming, delicious and aromatic drink, best sweetened as it tends to be quite savoury without the addition of sweetener.
Hot chocolate $4 and Ayran $2
I love ayran but Belinda is less fond of this lightly salty drink. It comes in a small cup and is refreshing. The hot chocolate is made using a home made ganache. It is rich and thick with just the right amount of sweetness to it with a foamy top.
Atayef $7 for two
Although there are croissants and pastries we decide to stay more with the Lebanese theme. The atayef is a pikelet type of mini pancake filled with ashtar or clotted cream and pistachios. It's quite mild and not very sweet in flavour and we add some honey or maple syrup to add some sweetness to it. I contemplate the idea of buying a whole lot of manoushes to give to Mr NQN for lunch. I'm sure he wouldn't resist the idea.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you take a lot of friend's recommendations? Are most of your friends on the money when it comes to eating out? And do things like organic ingredients sway you in terms of buying food? How much of your food is organic (if any)?
This meal was independently paid for.
14 Chalder St Marrickville, Sydney, Australia
Tel: +61 (02) 9550 3569
Mon – Fri 6:30AM - 3PM
Saturday 7AM - 3PM
Sunday 8AM - 3PM