• Thin-crust pide with spicy lamb topping (Bree Hutchins)
A guide to where to bask in biryani, falafel, hand-pulled noodles, mezze and sweet treats.
By
Farah Celjo

25 May 2018 - 2:18 PM  UPDATED 9 May 2019 - 10:59 AM

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan has begun. Until June 4, from sunrise to sunset, Muslims will observe fasting during daylight hours.

At iftar, the daily breaking of the fast (which begins around 5 pm here in Australia), it is after this time that people will gather and enjoy a communal meal. Firstly, a glass of water, dates and small bowl of soup breaks the initial fast and then onto the main meal.

About Ramadan?
No, not even water: A guide to Ramadan for non-Muslims
Not sure what Ramadan is all about? Here's why many Muslims fast during the month.
The art of travel (and food) during Ramadan
The holiest time of the Islamic calendar can also be wonderful for travellers, with a few small tweaks to your routine.

We share a few Sydney and Melbourne hotspots where you can gather and enjoy a banquet this Ramadan.


 

Sydney, NSW

Tarim Uyghur

105 Rawson Street, Auburn, NSW

All the dishes at Tarim's are made fresh on site every day and unlike many of its Asian counterparts, rice takes a backseat to noodles and bread. “In Uyghur cuisine, bread and pastry is the staple,” says owner Dilyar Hiwilla. Their goshnan is the popular meat bread that the region has become known for – a crisp, pan-fried, homemade dough filled with lamb and onion and their well-loved noodle dish of lagman is made by hand-pulling and blanching a simple dough, then wok-tossing the noodles in a lamb broth with cumin, chilli, lamb, capsicum and cabbage.

Student Biryani

42 Auburn Rd, Auburn NSW

A taste of downtown Karachi pulls crowds in Auburn with their signature, the biryani bucket. At Student Biryani, chicken and goat are the common biryani meats — but there's also beef, vegetarian or fish. In such a large space and with ample furniture, sharing is encouraged here: there’s the biryani bucket with drinks and sides (whether you want them or not), which feeds 10 people at $9-a-head. There's also the $21 chargha (deep-fried whole chicken), a solid meal for two. 

A taste of downtown Karachi pulls crowds in Auburn with their signature, the biryani bucket.

El Sweetie

73/75 South Street, Granville

From 8 am until 11 pm and over the weekends until 1 am, El Sweetie is a family-run dessert haven. From traditional Lebanese sweets to French pastries, they're got a counter spanning all of your sweet delights. With diabetic and gluten-free friendly dessert options as well (that includes baklawa!), you can expect to find pistachio kanafe, mafroukee and katayeff as well. And if you happen to be visiting on Saturday evening's then don't be surprised to find some live Lebanese entertainment take to the floor. 

Lakemba street food markets 

With 65+ kiosks, Haldon Street in Lakemba once again turns into a night Ramadan market during the holy month, hosting thousands of visitors every day. During Ramadan, many of the restaurants and shops in Lakemba are closed throughout the day, but once the sun sets a Middle Eastern festival ensues bustling with people, aromas and plenty of snacking options, to create your own food crawl. The made-to-order roti stands and camel burgers are a must-try.

Efendy

79 Elliot Street (Corner of Darling Street), Balmain

From 5pm every night and only during Ramadan, Efendy restaurant presents Iftar nights. For $58 per person, the banquet features a selection of soups, spiced minced lamb lahmacun (Turkish pizza), lamb shoulder pie with pilav, vegetables and a dessert platter accompanied by tea, coffee and sweet squares of Turkish delight. 

Thin-crust pide with spicy lamb topping

Faheem Fast Food

194-196 Enmore Rd, Enmore 

Great for larger groups, Faheem's Indian and Pakistani menu covers all the bases. Beef, chicken, lamb, seafood and vegetarian dishes galore alongside their popular Tandoori chicken and naan. 

Kabul Darbar

315 Guildford Rd, Guildford 

Kabul Darbar has been established in the western Sydney suburb of Guildford with an extensive Afghani and Pakistani halal menu. Popular options include mantu dumplings filled with lamb, Qabuli palaw rice dish as well as their Lahori special – chicken pieces cooked in tomatoes and special spices, garnished with fresh ginger and coriander.

Armani restaurant

354 Church Street Parramatta

Featuring a contemporary Mediterranean menu, Armani restaurant spans over 70 years experience and 3 generations. Back for their 10th consecutive Iftar Buffet, Mohammed Tlayss manages the restaurant and his wife Rawaa looks forward to their special dessert of shaabiyat, a crispy pastry filled with a ricotta-like cheese or walnuts, during the month of Ramadan.

Cafe on the Boulevarde

248 The Boulevarde, Punchbowl

Burgers, sandos, pastries and waffles are up for grabs at this eatery and during Ramadan, they've altered their hours to accommodate. Look out for their Ramadan waffle special!

Al Aseel

Soup of the day, fattoush, sambousek (stuffed pastries), shish skewers and a main are all part of Al Aseel's Ramadan banquet. For $45 per adult and $25 for children, you can find this banquet at any of their four locations, Alexandria, Greenacre, Penrith and Wollongong.

Melbourne, VIC

Moroccan Soup Bar

183 St George Rd, Fitzroy North

Whether you yourself in the full Moroccan Soup Bar experience or a Moroccan Deli-Cacy tagine fest - either way, you're in for a rich treat - and they've extended their Ramadan trading hours as well!

An on-site taginerie dishes out slow-cooked tagines alongside zalouk, an eggplant and tomato salad.

Lazzat Kadah

61/63 Sydney Rd, Coburg 

Every Wednesday to Sunday, Lazzat Kadah is serving up an all-you-can-eat autumn buffet. Entree, mains, dessert and beverages are all covered in their cost. The menu may vary slightly each day and for $33 per adult and $17 per child you can enjoy a mix from salads, soups, dips, falafels and samosas to curries, grilled meat platters, pastizzi and biryanis.  

 

Zikrayat

229 Glenferrie Road, Malvern

With an extensive menu, Zikrayat was born out of a longing for authentic Lebanese meals from the old country. Beginning with toum - a creamed garlic dip with lemon juice and olive oil - and finishing with a mahalabia - a Lebanese milk custard infused with rosewater, topped with shredded wheat and crushed pistachios - each dish is a massive flavour hitter.

Ramadan Bazaar at the Malaysian Hall

K4, High St, Windsor on Saturday, May 18 (until sold out)

Too busy for dessert? (Says no one ever!) Have your teh tarik (hot milk tea) and cupcake in one! The Bazar Ramadan Malaysia Hall is every Saturday during Ramadan! With a variety of stalls, it's the sweet snacks from Malaysian stall Say Something Sweet that has caught our attention. Koci pulut hitam, sagu, ondeh-ondeh, karipap, ketayap, seri muka, creme caramel pudding, kuih lapis, kuih bakar pandan, ondeh-ondeh cupcakes, teh tarik cupcakes and pengat durian cupcakes - so get down to the markets to take your pick.

Lezzet

77-81 Brighton Road, Elwood

A huge copper wood-fired oven is at the centre of all the fun as Lezzet Turkish restaurant dabbles in both heady spices and aromatic herbs. For $35 you can dine on their 3-course iftar special from 5pm-7pm, daily.

Dolan Uyghur Restaurant

166 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Don't let it's low-key feel fool you, the menu packs a flavour punch. At Dolan Uyghur Food Heaven in the CBD, the spiced cumin lamb skewers on warm Turkish bread and steamed buns are the beginning of what this Chinese-meets-Middle Eastern menu has to offer. 

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