One day, Shannon and I wanted to eat out but weren’t sure where to go. We pulled out the SMH Good Food Guide, which has become my new food Bible. Now when you flick through these pages of gastronomic goodness, you may be put off by some of the prices in there. But you will find gems in there as well, so we chose safi as it seemed affordable and we wanted to try Middle Eastern cuisine.
safi is located in a quiet street just off Miller St in North Sydney. Parking shouldn’t be a problem as there were plenty off on-street spaces and a carpark right next to the restaurant.
The restaurant is very much tucked away, next to residential dwellings, galleries and shops. Two air-conditioners stick outside the main facade and there are Middle Eastern ornaments lined up along the window.
It felt clean, cosy and welcoming.
I love restaurants where diners are treated to a host of share plates. This way, you can taste many different dishes, in order to fully appreciate the offering.
First up, we ordered the baba ghanouj ($11.50), which was a grilled eggplant and tahini with a touch of garlic, lemon and cumin, drizzled with olive oil. On the side, there were complimentary pickles and of course, Lebanese bread. The dip was fresh and not too heavy on the palate, which complimented the bread and pickles perfectly.
An important part of Middle Eastern dining, I found the bread to be a bit uninspiring. Not particularly fresh and hard.
Next up, we tried the cheese pocket ($11), which was a combination of haloumi, fetta and tasty cheese with spices and lightly fried. If you love cheese, you really have to have this dish. The combination of cheese smells and tastes fantastic and the pastry of the pocket is not too oily and has a lovely texture. We were tempted to order another.
Our next dish was the falafel ($11). Now I’m not the biggest fan of falafel, but I can definitely appreciate why people (not just vegetarians) love this dish.
Our last dish of the evening was the ma-aneh, which was grilled lebanese sausage, drizzled with lemon juice. While the sausages were very flavoursome and had a great medley of spices inside, I found them to be quite oily.
safi presents tasty Middle Eastern cuisine in a tucked away area of North Sydney. The prices are very affordable, given that it is located on the north shore, and you will walk away feeling satisfied. I will definitely be back.