I’ve been wanting to go to Petra Palace restaurant since it opened late last year and when I finally organised a dinner there I got sick, but like I said, I was just postponing all my plans so I didn’t miss out. I was able to quickly book a table within the hour of our arrival but I think they are much busier on Saturdays with the added entertainment of belly dancers.
There were other people in the restaurant, I just avoided them in my shot; as the night went on the restaurant started to get very busy. I like the combinations of long and round tables.I arrived before all my friends so I was able to have some time to browse the menu before we got carried away with catching up. I was tempted by the banquet but we couldn’t get a general consensus so we all went our separate ways and only shared the starters.
Cold mezza~ served with hot and fresh Lebanese bread
Baba ganoush chargrilled eggplant dip with tahini, garlic, yoghurt and fresh lemon juice ($10.00). You could really taste the smokey flavour from the chargrilled eggplant, I don’t usually love baba ganoush but it had a stronger flavour than the hummus so I preferred this dip. I really enjoyed the hot Lebanese bread that it was served with, it was very hot and crispy, I was very tempted to order more if I didn’t have a rice dish as a main.Piping hot bread for the table.
I wanted to save my pocket to stuff with rice and meat later on but I ended up eating the whole thing and then some before the mains arrived.Lebanese coffee ($4.00). Being the end of the week, some girls need a pick-me-up before the beginning of the meal. It isn’t as thick and strong as a Turkish coffee but it definitely had added spices to it to make it rather ‘fruity’ despite being a strong shot of caffeine.Hot mezza~ served with hot and fresh Lebanese bread
Hummus bil lahmah diced lamb on a bed of hummus and pine nuts ($15.00). I love a good hummus but unfortunately this wasn’t one of them. Despite the incredibly smooth texture of the dip, it was rather bland and even the diced lamb didn’t add much flavour at all. All of those at the table who ordered some lamb in their mains were starting to get worried that it wouldn’t be good.Grilled halloumi cheese (4 pieces $13.00). Grilled halloumi is delicious and this was grilled perfectly and added a good hit of salt and flavour that the hummus lacked. I thought it was a bit expensive but still very much enjoyed by the table.Mains~
Bandora kafta baked lamb and beef topped with sliced potato and a tomato, garlic and green chilli sauce ($25.00). My friend was worried that the green chilli would be too intense in this dish but I wouldn’t have known it was in the sauce. Although the kafta was blanketed by a rich tomato sauce, you could still taste the delicious lamb and beef and the meat was very succulent. I found the sauce complimented the meaty flavours rather than overpower it which was really nice and the potato was perfectly cooked; I’m surprised that it didn’t overcooked under the sauce and disintegrate.Mixed grill one skewer of each: chargrilled lamb kebab, shishtawook (chicken kebab) and kafta (ground lamb and beef) kebabs served with hot chips and grilled vegetables ($25.00). I was really tempted by this menu choice but I ended up choosing something different. This is a good way to try a bit of all the skewers. I really like the garlic dip that it came with, it was really garlicky without the strong aftertaste. I thought the chicken looked a bit dry but it was still a little moist, although it was my least favourite of the three skewers. I found the lamb a little tough and the kafta was by far my favourite. If I had kafta skewers with rice, garlic dip and yoghurt, I think it would be the perfect meal.I love chips as much as the next girl but I think it would have been nicer to serve all this meat with some rice.Shishtawook diced chicken kebabs marinated and chargrilled, served with a garlic dip on a bed of couscous (3 skewers $25.00). With no actual ‘sauce’ and the chicken being on the dry side served alongside dry couscous, it made for a lot of chewing and water sculling.Be alert not alarmed, that is a roasted onion with its skin on at the top of the plate, not an overly burnt piece of chicken.Chicken fatteh delicious casserole of marinated chicken, crispy Lebanese bread, spiced rice, garlic, mint and yoghurt topped with pine nuts ($25.00). When I was telling the waitress I was trying to decide between the mixed grill and the chicken casserole, she went to explain that it wasn’t exactly a chicken casserole but rather a layered dish where the bread was on the bottom, layered with marinated chicken which was then topped with yoghurt and mint and nuts; I was intrigued and chose the fatteh as my main dish. The bread became all soggy and almost felt like a pasta sheet at the bottom of the dish. I could easily grab a spoonful and have a bit of every layer in every mouthful. The mint in the yoghurt was really refreshing and there was something in the rice that made it feel like Christmas in my mouth. The pine nuts stayed crunchy which added to the texture and gave it a really nice nutty aftertaste. I really enjoyed this dish and it is something different that I wouldn’t usually be able to find on a menu.Despite the restaurant getting more and more busy throughout the night, we were never forgotten; our dishes came in a timely manner, the water was constantly replenished and they were happy to answer any of our questions regarding the menu. There were new staff members starting that night so we had to wait for experienced staff members to become available to use our Entertainment book voucher and get the bill. I would definitely come here again, eat lots of bread, kafta and rice, although there are plenty of other things I want to try on their menu too.
Venue: Petra Palace Restaurant
Phone: (02) 6281 3009
Tuesday – Saturday 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Belly Dancing every Saturday night
Dine-in & Take Away Available
Entertainment book: Yes! Don’t forget to use it.