AALIA

CONTACT

Shop 7- 8
25 Martin Place
Sydney, 2000 NSW
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closed

Opening Hours

SUN closed
MON 12:00pm - 2:30pm
  5:30pm - 10:00pm
TUE 12:00pm - 2:30pm
  5:30pm - 10:00pm
WED 12:00pm - 2:30pm
  5:30pm - 10:00pm
THU 12:00pm - 2:30pm
  5:30pm - 10:00pm
FRI 12:00pm - 2:30pm
  5:30pm - 10:00pm
SAT 12:00pm - 2:30pm
  5:30pm - 10:00pm

The Details

Cuisine
  • Middle Eastern
Need to Know
  • Good for Groups
  • Great for Dates
  • Outdoor Seating
Serving
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Leather booths in the dining room at AALIA in Sydney.

AALIA is the newest restaurant from the ESCA Group, the team behind Nour in Surry Hills and Lilymu in Parramatta. The name AALIA loosely translates to elevated or exalted—meaning you can expect a heightened version of the polished, creative Arabic and Levantine-style food the group has become known for. 

You'll find AALIA within the stunning multi-million dollar Martin Place transformation, neighbouring other newbies like Botswana Butchery and Cabana Bar. Like Nour, the interiors are a part of the experience, this time designed by Matt Darwon. Stunning timber columns take their inspiration from the Harry Seidler "spaceship" outside, giving the dining room a bit of theatre, while timber accents and taupe leather booths create warmth. 

The menu follows a unique coastal theme—a lighter vibe, not typically associated with Middle Eastern fare. "I want this menu to reflect a lighter way of shared eating—in the same way you assume a Mediterranean restaurant is going to be bright and fresh in flavour, this is truly the same principle for Middle Eastern cuisine," explains executive chef Paul Farag. 

"Through food, we’re trying to showcase a beautiful region of the world which almost everyone seems to forget has a luscious coastline, flanked by oceans, rivers, and seas."

The idea is to start with a few raw and mezze dishes, Farag says, before diving into richer mains and sides. From the a la carte menu, begin with Moonlight Kiss oysters, a Persian caviar service if you feel like splashing out, quail and king prawn skewers, and Pharoah’s foie gras.

Bread fiends will love AALIA's ballooned Khorasan pita, made in-house and served piping hot, ready to be torn and dipped to your heart's desire. 

For mains, AALIA has a Murray cod masgouf—a fresh take on the national dish of Iraq. It's barbequed low and slow with a traditional masgouf glaze of garlic, turmeric, and tamarind, before being brushed with the juice of apples and pineapples to give it a smoky, acidic flavour. There's also lamb neck shawarma and dry-aged Wagyu rib. 

If you simply can't decide, let Farag and the team take you on a journey with the banquet menu—designed to be shared, it ticks of menu highlights including desserts like AALIA's signature Medjool date with caramelised chocolate and ashta. 

To drink, complete your adventure in the Middle East with AALIA's signature cocktails and wine list. Signatures include the ultra-fresh Arak Orchard Sling, made with arak, cucumber, and pear soda, and an incredible spicy tamarind and passionfruit Margarita, made with tequila, tamarind, passionfruit, verjus, and chilli bitters.

On the wine list, you'll find intriguing Middle Eastern varietals and vineyards peppered amongst friendly Aussie drops—try a rosé from Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, a Lebanese Pet Nat, or a sweet dessert wine from Turkey. There are some truly special sips to uncover here and we love to see it. 

Image credit: Christopher Pearce