Mister Zee’s

Mister Zee’s has only been opened for three days but I have been waiting months for this restaurant to open. We went last night for dinner and even though there was four of us, I proceeded to order almost half the menu.Chocolate baklava shake ($8.00). I must say this was one of the first things that caught my eye when I read the menu; I thought it was an odd combination but I definitely wanted to try it. It was a delicious chocolate milkshake and at first you couldn’t really sense any baklava but towards the last third you start to notice the filo pastry that has been blended through. I don’t know how well a milk shake goes with the amount of food we ordered, maybe this would be better if you were looking for something sweet after one menu item as opposed to half of the menu like we had ordered.Charcoal chicken served with Lebanese bread, toum (garlic dip), pickles (half $13.00). When the plate we put in front of us we were really underwhelmed as the chicken looked cold and dry but I was surprised to find it slightly warm. I ate a bit of the breast which was on the drier side but even when I ate around the thighs it was also dry. There was a nice flavour through the meat but all the deliciousness was in the skin. The salty charcoal flavours were delicious and the way it was cooked left the skin nice and crispy. I really wished the Lebanese bread would have been slightly warmed, it would have made a fabulous difference. The pickles were really strong, eye widening type of pickles but the flavours became refreshing as we were eating it between other dishes.

We didn’t know what this was but found out very quickly that it was garlic dip. It went really well with the chicken.The pickles were almost as intense as their colour!Lebanese nachos choice of chicken, lamb or falafel served with fried Lebanese bread, tomato, onion, parsley, cheese, hummus, labneh ($15.00). We chose chicken for the meat and we really enjoyed this. The fried Lebanese bread wasn’t oily and sickly but rather addictive and super crunchy, I was surprised it didn’t get soggy towards the end and it kept its crispness. I would easily order this again.Lamb kofte with spicy tomato sauce served with rice pilaf ($18.00). This was really nice at first but as the dish got colder, the meat got tighter and tougher; I would definitely recommend eating this while it is hot. I didn’t find the tomato sauce spicy at all and while we really enjoyed this dish when we first tried it, I found myself preferring the other menu items after all our order arrived.Hummus ($6.00). We didn’t really read the additions to every dish but I wish the server at the register pointed out that many of our dishes already came with hummus and we really didn’t need to order any more additionally. I was hoping for more of a garlic hit but it was rather mild and smooth.Babaganoush ($7.00). I don’t know if they had given this to us complimentary because we ordered so much but it was a lovely gesture. Babaganoush isn’t my first preference of dip as I find some versions have too strong of a burnt eggplant taste but I surprisingly enjoyed this dip.Shish choice of chicken, lamb or adana (minced lamb meat) served with salad, Turkish flatbread, hummus (triple $26.50). We had all started dipping our Lebanese bread from the charcoal chicken plate in dips but as soon as the warm Turkish flatbread hit our table we all happily swapped breads almost instantly. To have more choice we naturally ordered one of each type of shish and I was really surprised to find that chicken was my favourite with its delicious flavours while remaining succulent. The lamb pieces was a close second but the adana, just like the lamb kofte was nice while it was hot but it as it got colder, it too got tougher. I would love to eat a kebab made up of the chicken pieces wrapped in flatbread which was smeared in hummus. Mmmmmm…

While we were happily stuffing our faces, someone who we presumed to be the manager asked us what we thought of the meal. After our compliments on certain dishes, he was really interested to find out what we  didn’t enjoy as much. We went through things such as the dry charcoal chicken, cold Lebanese bread and the texture of the adana to which he all seemed to be aware and said he was working on getting the perfect balance of a succulent moist chicken while getting that crispy salty skin, the problems of heating Lebanese bread and still working on getting the perfect cooking time of the adana. I was really impressed about how he had taken the feed back on board and that he really wanted to better his product. I then quizzed him about his dessert menu and in particular why there was no Lebanese doughnuts available, he proceeded to then tell me how they are made fresh every day but the batter is only good for so long but they hope to make a batter (which takes 2-3 hours) ready for opening time and by the time it reached late afternoon, they would make another batch for night time.Something sweet~

My friend and I were still eating dinner when the waitress came over and gave us complimentary dessert, I presumed it was because we had given feedback in addition to my enthusiasm for their desserts. I thought it was so nice of them.Baklava ice cream sandwich ($6.00). Before we even ordered, I was asking the girl at the front counter many questions which included: what is adana? Is everything on the menu available? Do you have baklava ice cream sandwiches? She then explained that the ice cream sandwich was a literally a piece of baklava cut in half with ice cream wedged in the middle. It isn’t as sweet and overwhelming as it sounds because the baklava isn’t that sweet and flavours and crispy texture went really well with the ice cream. I would eat this again, but it is definitely not a first date food as it gets messy very quickly.Knafeh ($6.00). We were told that this was made by a local couple and I was super excited to try this ever since I had it late last year when we had that pop up shop. It had a delicious subtle sweet flavours of rosewater and pistachios with a beautiful smooth texture. I would have loved this if it was served warm. *drool*I was surprised for a place that would do a lot of take- aways had such nice spacious seating, good heavy cutlery and crockery. It is nice to have something different to eat when there are so many cafe and Asian options in the area. I will definitely be back to try more and eat more of what I’ve already tried. Waiting times didn’t take long, the prices are reasonable and the staff were very friendly and efficient.

We spent just under $100 between the four of us ordering dinner and we were really full even before the desserts arrived but everyone knows that you have a separate stomach for dessert. I think you could easily be content with a single shish ($14.50) and leave enough room for something sweet.

Venue: Mister Zee’s

Address: 122 Bunda Street, Canberra, Civic, ACT

Phone: (02) 6152 0306

Opening hours:

11:00am – 9:00pm Sunday – Thursday

11:00am – 10/10:30pm Friday and Saturday
Mister Zee's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Petra Palace restaurant

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

Address51 Colbee Court, Phillip, Woden 2606, ACT, Australia

Phone: (02) 6281 3009

Opening hours
Tuesday – Saturday 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Belly Dancing every Saturday night

Dine-in & Take Away Available

Website: www.petrapalace.com.au/

Entertainment book: Yes! Don’t forget to use it.