Sisters Carol and Sharon Salloum grew up in a traditional Syrian household with their two brothers, George and Steven, and it's safe to say there was no shortage of food and hospitality to go around. 10 years ago, the sisters opened Almond Bar in Sydney's Darlinghurst and for the past five years they've extended the invite to the public to join in their family's barbecue traditions.
The family are hosting their last big Syrian-inspired barbecue for the year in the laneway behind their restaurant. "There's no need to book - because family doesn't have to - so come and be a cousin for a day and get a glimpse into what our family is about," Sharon tells SBS.
$20 plates will get you a mix of hummus, baba ghanouj and toum (Lebanese garlic sauce), served with barbecued lamb skewers, marinated chicken drumettes, fattoush salad, grilled potatoes and Lebanese bread. There's also a vegetarian option, which piles up hummus, baba ghanouj, toum, fattoush, grilled potatoes, charred corn in pomegranate butter and haloumi wrapped in grilled eggplant with za'atar oil - with bread, of course.
"Everyone loves a good barbecue and they're always a a fun gathering, abundant with food," Sharon says. "We laugh and joke around while enjoying a feast and we can't believe just how big it's becoming."
A belly dancer and traditional drummer will provide the entertainment, while their father and brothers supervise the barbecue.
We definitely recommend getting in early and trying both plates.
The Big Syrian BBQ will take place on Sunday, November 19 from 12pm -3pm on Whites Lane (Behind 379 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst). No bookings required and for more information check out Almond Bar's Facebook page here.
Tune into the brand-new series Food Safari Earth as Maeve explores the wild thyme known as za’atar and finds out how it is grown, dried before using it in a home-baked flatbread baked by Carol and Sharon's mother, Adal on Thursday 9 November at 8pm on SBS and then on SBS On Demand. For recipes and more visit the program site right here.