Daaate niiiight! Any parents of young children will grasp why that phrase is so exciting. So where to go that was suitably special and local (to walk home)? Rabbath at Burleigh was at the top of my list. So was it date night worthy?
Can I just say again… daaate niiiight!? OK, that’s enough. But seriously, thank you to my wonderful family for having my darling boys to stay for the night (the whole. freaking. night!). Waking up the next day and just walking out the door to have coffee was heaven (without the all the “stuff” and forward planning required with two kids).
But back to the food. I’ve been crushing on Rabbath for a while now, reading snippets about the time and work put into creating a smaller restaurant with a focus on authentic Lebanese food and cooking techniques. I love supporting people who have a reverence for food and show their passion with their restaurant.
It was a dark and stormy night. No, that wasn’t the beginning of my novel, it really was. Despite the weather it still felt nice to get dressed up like grown ups and have a date again.
We arrived, initially unsure of the entrance, until a lovely staff member opened the weather proof entrance blind and welcomed us in. We were seated at the bar, unfortunately not directly in front of the chefs but close enough to see all the action.
It’s a small, intimate and well laid out space with beautiful soft lighting, dark timber and Moroccan mosaic tiles. There’s one large table, which it looked like two groups shared. Side note: I love communal tables. Embrace the loss of personal space and say hi to your neighbour, GC people!
My booking tips: if you’re planning a romantic evening, I’d suggest asking for one of the corner tables, but if a food nerd like me, ask for the bar in front of the kitchen.
We ordered a couple of drinks to start out with: I decided to start with a glass of Rose to match the middle eastern flavours, the Negroamaro Rosato (Italy, $10) which was a good choice. I like a well balanced Rose and this fitted the bill. Sime ordered a glass of the Greenstone Point Pinot Noir (South Island NZ, $10) which I enjoyed so much that I ordered another glass during dinner.
On to our food. Rabbath encourages sharing, so we decided (because I couldn’t pick) to go with the Chef’s Selection, 3 stages ($49 pp). In retrospect I’m glad we did, there is a 5 stage option available but as somewhat small eaters, we were both full after 3.
Stage 1: house baked Khoubiz (Lebanese flat bread), Labneh (a creamy middle eastern cheese), dukkah, extra virgin olive oil and Ban’jan (slow cooked char grilled eggplant and tomato ragout, served chilled). The bread was still warm when served, and each of the accompaniments was divine. Creamy Labneh, spiky dukkah flavours, the sweet, smokey Ban’jan, and the tart olive oil. Plus check out the amazing presentation:
Stage 2: Kafta (char grilled lamb) with babaganouj (smokey eggplant dip), Jweneh (char grilled wingettes) marinated in lemon and honey with hoummus, Falafel (signature dish), Tabouleh (signature salad), and M’jadara (caramelised brown lentils and rice with crispy onion and beetroot pickle. All of which, as you can see below, were presented beautifully again.
The highlights for us were the smokey Kafta and simple yet delicious char grilled flavour of the wingettes. The crunchy, amazing falafel, the fresh Tabouleh flavours, the creamy M’jadara was well balanced when mixed with the home made pickle, and each of the dips were clearly house made and complemented everything well. We were glad we’d had the Chef’s selection as it gave us a taste of almost the entire menu.
Stage 3: dessert was their signature Baklawa. A fresh, syrupy, chewy dessert, with a little crunch, a very sweet way to finish off our meal with a herbal tea each.
So if you’ve stayed with me this long, you’ll know that our verdict was definitely “date night worthy”. We both enjoyed every bite, so much in fact that we really needed the herbal tea to help us digest our feast. Writing this now has made me re-appreciate every dish, so I definitely recommend a visit.
7a/2 The Esplanade, Burleigh Heads
Wednesday to Sunday, 5:30pm to 11:30pm
(07) 5535 4141
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