Lebanese Food 101
Wow! We can’t believe how quickly time flies. It’s almost been a year since Khaled and I teamed up and re-opened the Lebanese Bakery. There have been so many changes and stories to tell – like new recipes, new staff and new exciting challenges. But one thing that has remained constant is our passion and drive to keep giving our customers the best, most authentic Lebanese Food experience!
If you are new to the Southern Suburbs, welcome, or as we like to say, Marhaba! You will find our little bakery nestled in the corner of Imam Hanon Road in Claremont! Just look for the big pomegranate on the door opposite Coimbra – it’s like a treasure hunt and boy do we have treats for you. Our amazing team of bakers, Fari and Kuda, get started early in order to deliver the freshest, fluffiest, tastiest Pita Breads you will ever eat. We take great pride in our breads which are made in a very special oven, imported from Lebanon to ensure an authentic experience.
In the kitchen, you will find me, Chef Clara with the amazing Khudzi, making daily dips which compliment our amazing dipping breads. Delicacies like Toumeya, Baba Ganoush, Mutabal, Mohammara, Labneh and Tzatziki. I fell in love with Middle Eastern Cuisine during my young days traveling throughout Cairo where I worked in many kitchens, learning about the amazing flavours and textures found in levant cuisine. When Khaled asked if I would like to join the team, it was hard to say no – which is not uncommon with Khaled who is originally from Egypt. I fell in love with his energy instantly, and together, we get to bring you a taste of happiness through good food.
When you enter the bakery, you will be welcomed warmly but the incredible gifted Khanyi. She is so bubbly and makes the best cup of coffee, guaranteed to perk you up for the day ahead. While you wait, be prepared for a little history lesson about the amazing food we make at Lebanese Bakey. Fatayer, Manakish, Falafel and the tongue twisty Hawawshi – all available for takeaways or a quick sit down meal.
In the long tradition of educating our customers on Lebanese Food, here are a few essentials you should know when visiting our bakery:
– Fatayer: Imagine one big giant samosa stuffed with all sorts of yummy goodness. This triangular shaped pie is stuffed with all sorts of fillings and baked until Golden brown. If you are trying this for the first time, we recommend the spinach and cheese – gently spiced spinach, mozzarella, lemon, onion, pomegranate molasses and walnuts!
– Ka’ak: Quite funny to say in the South African context but the most beautiful bread you will ever lay your eyes on. It’s an oval shaped bread with a hole and looks like a cute little handbag. Typically sold in the streets of Lebanon by vendors on bicycles. We stuff it with fun things or mop up dips and good olive oil.
– Khobz: In the West, we call these pita breads. What makes ours so special is the oven it’s made in – a massive stone oven imported from Lebanon to ensure the softest, fluffiest pitas you will ever eat. Great for stuffing or simply dipping with our selection of mezze’s.
– Za’atar: This deserves a blog on its own! Known as green thyme and pronounced “zah-tar”. This herb and spice mix bursts with flavours of thyme, sumac and toasted sesame seeds. No Lebanese household is without it and it pairs beautifully with cheese, labneh, dips and sprinkled onto roasted veggies. It also pairs well with just olive oil.
– Manakish : Mananoush is the singular phrase of this traditional Lebanese Street food. It’s a bread base (kind of like a pizza) typically topped with Cheese and Za’atar, folded and eaten on the go! We make all sorts of Manakish from vegetarian, cheese and beef.
– Falafel: Khaled takes great pride in his falafel recipe which is made with chickpeas, sesame seeds, spices and green chilis for a little bite. Served in 4 pieces with a dash of tahini sauce! The perfect little snack on the go.
Our food is available for order and collect or through Mr. D Food. We’ll soon be Ubering up with Uber and Order in so watch our blog and social media @lebanesebakeryct for more news.
With love from Clara, Khaled and the LB Team…