These Halal restaurants will satisfy even the most discerning diners.
From cheap and cheerful cafés to exquisite fine dining, when travelling around Australia you’ll find delicious Halal cuisine.
Decked out with distinctive North African tapestries, stained glass lighting and Arabic music, Marrakech Moroccan has plenty of personality. The chef warmly greets his guests as they arrive before serving generously sized tagines packed with lamb, chicken and beef. Try the Tanjia Marrakchia (beef chunks cooked with herbs, spices and preserved lemon) if you’re after a little extra kick.
Dining at the Jerusalem Sheshkebab House has been an Adelaide tradition for more than 40 years – and the cult status owes as much to its food as its hard-wearing, orange décor and no-nonsense service. The perfectly cooked falafel is addictive and the hummus is spot-on, as is the lamb kofta. As the name implies, the char-grilled meats are a must, especially the marinated lamb kebabs.
Located in the trendy inner-city suburb of Fortitude Valley, Mecca Bah is an elegant, contemporary take on Middle Eastern dining. Start with chickpea battered mussels or sweet potato falafel, and move onto spiced lamb shanks with pearl couscous or a chicken tagine with cinnamon and raisins. Top it off with a chocolate and Turkish delight brownie.
Mado Restaurant is a lavishly decorated, authentic Turkish restaurant, located a short walk from Brisbane’s city centre. Tuck into a char-grilled lamb shish or traditional Turkish pide as belly dancers sashay by on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Try a selection of traditional Turkish desserts, such as şekerpare (semolina cookie), oven-baked rice pudding or baklava.
This trusty local Italian joint, a 15-minute drive from the city, covers all the greatest hits from pasta carbonara, arrabiata and lasagne to veal parmigiana. At Samiuz Ristorante and Pizzeria, pizzas are made on a traditional base with all the usual toppings on offer – although the Istanbul pizza with sucuk, a traditional dry, spicy sausage, is a stand out. There's also a selection of steaks and seafood, and all meat on the menu is Halal certified.
Sari Rasa is a low-key eatery smack bang in the centre of Darwin. Hidden in an arcade on Cavenagh Street, it’s famed for serving up some of the best Indonesian fare in the Top End, as the lunch queues attest. Try the spicy kari ayam pedas chicken curry or the terong pedas eggplant curry – both equally delicious.
Sumatra Café is tucked within Anthony Plaza in Smith Street Mall and is one of Darwin’s most popular curry houses. You’ll want to get here early to grab a table at lunchtime. Choose from two or three curries with rice, such as beef rendang and chilli eggplant, which are both packed with flavour. On a hot day, finish the meal with an Es Campur dessert of red bean, jelly and fruits on shaved ice.
Overlooking Hobart’s picturesque wharves, The Saffron is home to a team of chefs that have cut their teeth at some of India’s most luxurious hotels. The cuisine is authentic North Indian and Kashmiri and all meat dishes are prepared using halal meat. Order the house-specialty: murgh malai kebab, boneless cubes of chicken marinated overnight and roasted to perfection.
Kathmandu Cuisine in Hobart’s waterfront suburb of Battery Point offers a unique and authentic Nepalese dining experience. Momos, the traditional meat or vegetable-filled dumplings, are naturally on the menu, as is the Nepali eggplant and potato dish, bhanta aloo. For dessert, try fried cottage cheese balls cooked in sugar syrup.
Gazi, by Australian celebrity chef George Calombaris, is a Melbourne institution. It serves up contemporary Greek street food in a boisterous, casual canteen setting. There’s a mix of dips, souvas and meats from the wood fire spit, and for the hungry, a seven or 10 dish tasting menu. Make sure you leave room for the loukoumades, bite-sized, honey-soaked doughnut balls. Bookings recommended.
It’s been more than 35 years since Abla’s first opened its doors in Carlton, and it continues to be lauded for its homemade Lebanese food. Chef and owner, Abla Ahmed, turns out authentic dips and spicy, house-made lamb sausages, as well a host of classics from fattoush and falafel to kafta mishwee and the raw lamb and burghal kibbee nayeh. Their baklava is a must.
Plating up traditional Lebanese food and entertainment on weekends, Beiyrut Restaurant is a must while visiting Perth. Food wise, there’s a good selection of meze (house made labneh, vine leaves and falafel), kafta skewers, and mixed grills. Don’t leave without trying pistachio halawa folded through vanilla ice cream. Head here on a Sunday for the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet.
In the charming suburb of Balmain sits acclaimed Turkish restaurant, Efendy. The seasonal menu reflects an emphasis on local, sustainable produce, from mint and nettle yoghurt labne to kadayif prawns with walnut capsicum muhammara. The slow-cooked whole lamb shoulder tandir is a must if dining in a group.
With a balcony overlooking Sydney's Darling Harbour precinct, Zaaffran balances city views with a superb pan-Indian menu. Begin with the hearty, rich flavours of barramundi in coconut-turmeric broth, then move on to the signature slow-cooked lamb shanks in spicy caramelised onion sauce and their signature braised and roasted beef ribs.
Located beside the bustling Circular Quay, Jimmy's Recipe serves up Malaysian street food to anyone who finds themselves in the area. Jimmy's is best known for their laksa (a spicy coconut noodle soup) and their affordable no fuss atmosphere. Treat your taste buds to a traditional Mee Goreng, or something a little more exotic like Nasi Lemak (the national dish of Malaysia). There's no better spot in Circular Quay for a casual yet flavourful meal.