Gone are the days of unicorn lattes and charcoal croissants, this is the era of Middle Eastern food. Let it be known. Middle Eastern Cuisine is on the rise and hitting mainstream in Australia, particularly Lebanese, Persian, Turkish, Israeli and Moroccan. Have you noticed Dukkah, Harissa, Hummus and Pomegranate popping up all over brunch menus nowadays? Fun fact: Pomegranate originates from modern day Iran. And we are totally loving it.
Middle Eastern spices and toppings are changing the brunch game. Spicing up humble dishes like Eggs Benedict and Smashed Avo toast with Persian Fetta and Sucuk (cured, spiced sausage), creating a flavour sensation without the need of adding heavy, salty, sauces and marinades.
Making a strong case as the best Eastern breakfast dish is Shakshuka, and if you take your breakfast seriously you will jump aboard the Shakshuka train. And you won't get off, ever. It's essentially baked or perfectly poached eggs Moroccan style, with spicy tomato sauce, peppers, feta and a delightful side of grilled Turkish bread for mandatory dipping.
More than two million Australians have now cut meat from their diet and as Aussies continue to turn to Vegetarian and Veganism, the popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine will also rise. With dishes like Roasted Stuffed Peppers, Baked Falafels and Tabbouleh, there are plenty of fun choices with looots of flavour. So put down the celery sticks Vego's and rejoice!
Here are some of our favourite Melbourne spots with Middle Eastern inspired dishes to add to your hitlist;
Poached Eggs with Smashed Roasted Pumpkin, Pomegranate and Fetta
Friends Of Mine, Richmond
Shakshuka Baked Eggs with Turkish bread
Servery & Spoon, Malvern East
Panko crusted Poached Eggs with Dukkah
Oscar Cooper, Prahran
Baked eggs in a rich tomato sugo w za’atar, sucuk sausage, persian feta & grilled iraqi bread
Long Story Short, Port Melbourne
Pull Pork Harissa Croquettes
Sir Duke Cafe, Moonee Ponds
Halloumi & Carrot Fritters
Moroccan Soup Bar, Brunswick East
Move over kale, Halloumi is here to stay!