Emma's on Liberty - Enmore
BYO only (unlicensed)
Review: Emma's on Liberty, deep within Enmore, is a cosy restaurant dominated by a big communal table which is often packed elbow to elbow with happy groups feasting on fresh and flavoursome Lebanese cuisine.
Source: Best Restaurants of Australia
Location: In Enmore, a ten-minute walk from Stanmore train station.
Profiled by de groots media: The back streets and narrow lanes of Enmore are generally pretty quiet. Most of the action is stolen by the restaurant strip of Enmore Road, so when a house on a corner glows with soft light, chattering people and the promise of delicious Lebanese cuisine, it grabs attention. But even without the excuse of solitude, Emma’s on Liberty would stand out. The dining floor is small, warm and dominated by a big communal table, which is generally filled elbow-to-elbow. There are also a few smaller tables scattered around the nooks and crannies.
If you are lucky enough to score a seat (which on most nights is quite a feat) prepare for munching heaven. The menu is filled with well-known Lebanese favourites as well as with lesser known dishes. One thing they all have in common, however, is that none bear the grease that is often associated with this style of cuisine. So you can be (almost) guilt-free when you order “ladies fingers” (filo pastry rolls filled with lamb, pine nuts and pomegranate molasses). Although you may prefer to nibble on a spinach pie, a shish kebab, lamb kofta or begin your meal with hummus and Lebanese bread. Once you’re sufficiently appetiser-ed, you can move on to mains which present options like shawarma (veal strips marinated in wine and spices, pan-fried with onion and topped with tahini) and Moorish chicken. The latter, in particular, finds a great balance between the smokiness of the grill, the zest of a spice marinade and the softness of the Lebanese bread in which it is wrapped. Add a friendly BYO policy and reasonable prices and you have the recipe for a great night. If you’re not lucky enough to snag a table, you can take comfort in Emma’s great take-away menu.