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Aseel of Approval? – Al Aseel

I don’t think that I could ever get tired of eating Lebanese food. Having gone to Jasmins on a previous occasion, and thoroughly enjoying  that experience, a suggest was brought up on Twitter to check out Al Aseel, as it was implied that the food here was good, and possibly in the same league as Jasmins. If you’ve been to Jasmins, that’s saying quite a lot.

Does Al Aseel have what it takes to meet, or better yet, exceed the quality and value of Jasmins?

The mixed grill plate ($20). The “I want a bit of everything” or “I don’t really know what I want” sort of meal, which along with the complementary side dish and flat bread (more prominent in the opening image), serves as quite a hearty meal for one or a decent meal for two if you don’t happen to be big eaters.

The grilled meats of chicken, lamb and lamb kafta are moist, flavourful, & smokey delicous. The accompaniments aside from those mentioned previously are (from L to R) hommus dip, falafel, tabouleh, a small container of toum (garlic dip), baba ganoush dip, and a little parcel of deep fried pastry with a minced lamb filling, the name of which elludes both my memory and notes. All of these are nice too for the most part.

Sadly, however, for me Al Aseel doesn’t quite make the muster in two areas.

Firstly, the falafel pictured above is, at least by comparison, pales in comparison to the ones served as Jasmins. Though the falafel are cooked to order, the crust is more crispy than crunchy, lacking the delightful bite that is so revered with Jasmin’s version. The centre is also rather dry, requiring the aid of a dip or a beverage as an accompaniment to serve as lubrication.

The other area is that of price. For an additional $7 (at the time of the post), there was less perceived value in my mind at Al Aseel than what can be obtained at Jasmins for cheaper and better.

This is not to diminish the meal at Al Aseel. Overall, it was still a good meal, as advised, and one I could see myself going to again.

Well, only if Jasmins was closed.

If you’ve dined at Al Aseel before, or if you know of a good place to get a mixed grill plate such as the one in the post, I would love to read your thought on it.

Al Aseel
4/173 Waterloo Rd, Greenacre
02 9758 6744
Sun – Thur: 9am – 9pm, Fri – Sat: 9am – 10pm


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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Forager May 10, 2010, 9:32 am

    I love reading about these little finds out in the burbs. There are a few excellent ones I’ve been told about further west in Bankstown and Granville, and I am partial to Cafe D’or in Burwood. They do a good mixed plate and a mean fatoush salad.

  • Iron Chef Shellie May 10, 2010, 12:18 pm

    Looks pretty good, shame it didn’t measure up quite as well though.
    I know I’d love some Lebanese food for lunch… but looks like I’ll stick with my cuppa soup for now :P

  • Yas @ hungry.digital.elf May 10, 2010, 2:15 pm

    I can hear Jasmin is calling me. Once you come back, LETS GO!

  • Simon Food Favourites May 10, 2010, 5:30 pm

    great to hear Jasmin’s is still number 1 for falafel. i’ve been twice but too long ago and miss it so much. wish it was closer :-(

  • The Ninja May 10, 2010, 9:17 pm

    Your puns kill me everytime like a salmonella-infested kebab.

    In my view, nostalgia often counts as much when judging a restaurant as taste or service or anything else. It’s hard to defy the weight of history.

    But there’s always the next pit stop…

  • Maria May 12, 2010, 4:29 pm

    Fancy that!I just read a review about this place in SMH this week! I’d love to try Lebanese, maybe this would be a good place to start…

  • Simon June 2, 2010, 10:24 pm

    Hi Forager! Cafe D’or? Oh, that’s a place I often walk past and overlook off-hand. Maybe I should give that place a go sometime.

    Hi Iron Chef Shellie! It its own right it was rather good. I just have a particular preference for another place.

    Sorry to hear that you had to stick with cuppa soup but on the upside it probably doesn’t cost a lot either :)

    Hi Yas! We should go sometime. Count me in if you want to organise an outing sometime :)

    Hi Simon FF! On the upside you have a lot of other good places that are closer to you. Still, worth the trip out from time to time, no?

    Hi The Ninja! Hmm… I take it by that you mean a slow and gut-wrenchingly painful death?

    I do agree with you about the weight of nogstalgia and history, but it’s hard to mistake something that tastes good, especially when these outings only occurred about a week apart, despite the posts being months apart.

    Hi Maria! So I’ve heard!

    Give it a go and see what you think for yourself. It’s good food but, well, you know my opinion. Check it out for yourself and see what you think :)

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