Moonee Ponds is really starting to deliver on the restaurant front (and cafes like Sir Duke are certainly leading the brekky charge).
Well now the Ponds have something new: a Lebanese felafel house called Bekka.
This one's the brainchild of Richard and Suzanne Pavlov, both second-generation Lebanese-Australians, who returned from a trip to Lebanon with one thing on their mind: how do we bring these flavours back home?
Let’s start with the interior, a swish, contemporary space from Trish Khoury’ at Grace Interior Designs. Every little detail you see at Bekka has been considered long and hard. Black tabletops and industrial seating (a nod to Melbourne dining). The stunning green colour palette (a little shout out to the Lebanese landscape). The black and white Arabesque tiles on the façade.
But most importantly, the space is warm and inviting. A little slice of classic Middle Eastern hospitality.
Bekka is all about mezza dining, a hodgepodge of tahini-spiked share plates. Richard is heading up the kitchen, and say the menu is gonna be big on tradition. "Lebanese cuisine is fun, healthy and delicious because of its complementary flavours," he says.
Now let’s get to the food: fried cauliflower served with house made tahini, garlic prawn skewers, lamb, chicken and fish from the grill, and some wicked, garlicky tabouli.
And of course, you can’t skip out on the award-winning falafel, fried golden brown, the perfect mix of chickpea and broad beans, served with lashing of tahini and some tangy pickles. It's easily some of the best falafel we've had in Melbs. Not too greasy, nice crunch on the outside, and super moreish.
Make sure you save some room for the charred chicken Tawook skewers (marinated in garlic, lemon and paprika), and a serve of the Fattoush salad with crispy pita bread.
Settle down guys, I’m getting to dessert. How does Baklava filled with vanilla bean ice cream, crushed pistachios and walnuts sound? You’re bloody welcome.
Head down and check out Bekka before the hype hits Moonee Ponds. It shouldn't take too long...
Image credit: Jenna Fahey-White