Among Lonsdale Street’s sea of cafès, sweet treats and vegan delights sits La Mono, a restaurant formed on the basis of Lebanese tradition, the warmth of family and the inclusivity of community.
Originating from the passion of three brothers and their Lebanese heritage, the La Mono flair has taken hold of the Sydney hospitality scene over the past eight years and is now a welcome addition to Braddon’s famous Lonsdale Street.
“My brother and I came to Braddon numerous times over the past year and decided that Lonsdale Street was the perfect place to inject a bit of Lebanese culture,” says General Manager Jean-Pierre.
“We are cosmopolitan with our cuisine, we want our restaurant to be a place that welcomes every occasion, from family gatherings and corporate lunches to a romantic date night or a takeaway lunch.”
All of the food served is created onsite from family recipes and the freshest ingredients, alongside Australia’s only stock of Lebanese beer and wine.
“At La Mono we have the freshest traditional Lebanese cuisine in Canberra and everyone is welcome to try,” he adds.
With a number of share options available on the menu, we started our traditional feast with the Baba Ghannouj Dip. This rich dip combined a puree of smoked eggplant with a citrus burst of lemon and creamy tahini. Accompanied by a generous offering of pita bread to lap up the rich, smoky creation.
Continuing with the share trend we were served a plate of Vine Leaves. Often portrayed as an acquired taste, the tart green leaves encase a delicate mixture of tomato, onion and traditional spices that heighten the citric nature of the vine leaf.
To cleanse the palate after such a robust dish we indulged in the Cheese Sumbusik. These lightly fried morsels combine the subtle flavours of fetta cheese and oregano wrapped in a fine pastry.
However, my personal favourite of the small plates would have to be the Kibi. Combining the elements of tender minced lamb, wheat shells and onion, the spherical pieces are lightly fried to create an explosion of spices and a note of nutmeg with the crunch of each individual wheat shell – a sensation that makes the dish ever so more-ish!
With the hot weather well and truly here, a great salad is a restaurant’s best friend, and there is nothing fresher than the simple Fattoush Salad. Staying true to the Lebanese flavours, the dish combines lettuce, tomato, cucumber, radish and onion with a refreshing heap of parsley, mint and shallots tossed throughout.
The dressing is a simple mixture of lemon juice and olive oil that highlights the freshness and the beautiful flavour of each element in the salad. The vibrant dish is heaped inside a delectable crispy deep-fried pita bread, to add that extra crunch.
To experience the full flavour of La Mono the Mono Mixed BBQ is a must-order. This dish is the ultimate platter of all the very best elements of La Mono’s charcoal grill – including shish kafta, shish tawook and shish kebab accompanied by fresh tabouli, hommus, garlic dip and a vibrant array of pickles to cleanse the palate.
Whether you want to dine-in, have a meal delivered or need someone to cater your next event, La Mono has something to suit your needs. Open seven days from 11:00am until late with gluten-free and vegan-friendly options, be sure to come in and try La Mono’s flavour of traditional Lebanese fare.