Al Manoosh, the newly opened Lebanese bakery in Mawson, is serving up breakfast with not a smash of avocado in sight but the lines are still out the door.
Opened in late October last year, the restaurant took charge of the large vacant Pizza Hut site, gutting and transforming it into a delightful neighbourhood destination. An industrial colour palette has replaced the red signage and furniture of old. A simple black and white logo with the restaurant’s name in a rolling pin hangs out the front. Inside the dominant feature are the exposed brick wall and a huge oven at the centre of the action.
Manoosh offers indoor and outdoor seating and printed menus are available on the tables and are displayed above the counter. But if you’re new to Manoosh and the art of Lebanese breakfast, the menu may require a bit of study and explanation from staff. They’re happy to help so you can make the most of your culinary travels.
The bakery’s speciality is flatbread, enjoyed filled as a wrap, dipped into silky-smooth hummus or the restaurant’s namesake, manoosh. A popular breakfast item in Lebanon, manoosh is a style of pizza without the tomato sauce.
At the Mawson family-run bakery, fluffy dough discs are transformed in the hot oven topped with fresh traditional ingredients of homemade spice mix, zaatar, labne, eggs and ground meat. All are freshly made to order or for those in a rush, fun-sized mini versions are available from the cabinet.
Living locally, I am clocking up quite a few visits and have learnt that the restaurant is best enjoyed with company so you can order a breakfast spread rather than an individual dish. As I make my way through the contents of the entire menu, my winning combination to date covers the table and satisfies curious appetites.
It includes a mixed vegetable plate with fresh and pickled delights for crunch and brightness, and labne, the sour thick creamy strained Greek yoghurt is delicious smeared on the accompanying hot, crunchy piles of flatbread served with it. The hummus is freshly made with whole chickpeas in the centre for texture, but the absolute star on the table is always the foul (pronounced Ful). Foul is a chunky, warm hearty dip made with fava beans, chickpeas, lashings of garlic, lemon and olive oil. To top off the breakfast feast, my manoosh of choice is the Mighty Kafta, with a balanced combination of fatty ground meat, crisp pickles, tomatoes, basil and mayonnaise.
Al Manoosh is located at 47 Mawson Pl, Mawson, and is open 7 days a week from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm.