It’s no secret that at Zaitoune, we love our Lebanese food! But there is more to Lebanese food than just a tasty meal. In fact, Lebanese cuisine has a long, rich history with plenty of twists and turns that made it what it is today. Here are some facts about Lebanese food you might not know.


  1. Lebanese Food Has Had Different Influences Throughout History

Throughout history, there has been many influences on Lebanon and its food. Some are ancient, like the Ottoman, Levantine, Persian and Roman empires.

Beirut was known as the Paris of the Middle East, and many travellers would come through Beirut. Their visits would bring new ingredients, customs and inspiration that helped to create the delicious cuisine that is Lebanese food today.


  1. Lebanese Food Is Often Served As Many Small Dishes To Share

Unlike modern Australian customs, Lebanese food is rarely served as one large meal. Instead, it is served as mezze – many small dishes that allow you to share and taste each option.

At Zaitoune, our guests love our mezze boards for sharing and enjoying. There are options for vegetarian mezze and boards of different sizes, so you get to try all of the best dishes available. Got a hungry tribe to feed? We’ll happily replenish your dips, salads and breads for the 1 metre Feast Boards.

Food always tastes best when you can share it with family and friends!


  1. In Lebanese Food, Spices & Seasonings Are A Focus

A lot of people might wonder why Lebanese food tastes so fresh, delicious and packed full of flavour. The answer is in the seasonings.

Lebanese dishes will use a lot of fresh herbs, spices and other condiments to infuse flavours into the dish. Many of our dishes at Zaitoune use seasonings such as garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini and mint.

Another traditional Lebanese condiment is pomegranate molasses. This sweet drizzle is a perfect accompaniment to our flavour-packed salads.


  1. Pita Bread Is Traditionally Served With Lebanese Meals

In Australia, bread can be a bit of a hotly debated food. But to a Lebanese host, bread truly is life. In some Arabic dialects, the word for bread means ‘life’.

This is why you will find pita or flat bread served with almost every meal. In fact, you will likely consume more bread, fresh produce and rice than meat in the average Lebanese dish. This is one of the reasons why it is such a healthy cuisine!

The good news is, pita bread is perfect for scooping up dips or spooning salad and meat into. Every mouthful is a delight when you’re eating Lebanese food!


  1. Lebanese Food Is Vegetarian-Friendly, Thanks To The Use Of Legumes

Do you struggle to find an option for eating out as a vegetarian? A Lebanese restaurant is a great choice! Many dishes are focused on legumes as a protein source, and some use yoghurt or cheese instead. This means you have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to Lebanese food.

Lebanese people pride themselves on the ability to make fresh produce, herbs and spices taste amazing. So everyone can enjoy the vegetarian options!

At Zaitoune, we have plenty of vegetarian dishes for you to try. Want to know our top picks? Check out this article.


  1. A Lebanese Host Will Always Encourage You To Eat A Little More!

Anyone with a Lebanese friend will know this one. If you are a guest of a Lebanese host, they will never believe you if you say you don’t have room for a little bit more! They have prepared delicious dishes with love, and they want to share as much as possible with you.

In a Lebanese household, food is life. Sharing it with people they care about is one of the essential, joyful parts of life. Who wouldn’t be grateful to bring delight to friends and family?

This is the same approach we take at Zaitoune – we love sharing the food that we create with our guests! We’d love to welcome you into our home so you can savour the same dishes that we have loved all our lives.

If you want to enjoy some beautiful Lebanese food – with a side of that famous Lebanese hospitality – book your table today.

Summer has arrived, which means it’s time to enjoy fresh, delicious food. And there’s no better cuisine for the summer than Middle Eastern. Here, we look at the 10 foods you want to try while the weather is warm.

1 – Need a quick lunch? Grab a Shish Tawook Wrap

Sometimes you’re out and about and want a tasty option for a takeaway lunch. Get yourself a Shish Tawook – marinated chicken breast, salad and our lemon garlic sauce.

Prefer lamb? Get yourself a Kofta Wrap with spiced lamb mince, hummus and salad instead. Either way, it’s quick, fresh and delicious!

2 – Want to try a twist on your favourite dip? Try Hummus with Spiced Minced Meat

Plain hummus is fine. But if you want to take your hummus experience to a new level, you’ve got to try hummus with spiced mince meat. Perfect for dipping fresh bread into.

More of a plant-based lover? You should go for the Hummus with Pine Nuts instead – the pine nuts are roasted to perfection for maximum flavour. Want the best of both worlds? We offer Hummus with Meat and Pine Nuts as well.

3 – Ready to try Mama’s cooking? You can’t miss the Batinjan Makdous

Stuffed vegetables are always a winner, and the Batinjan Makdous is no exception. Homemade by Mama herself, baby eggplants are stuffed with a tasty mix of capsicum, walnuts and garlic.

Topped off with some olive oil, it’s the perfect mix of fresh ingredients and great flavour.

4 – Like to keep life spicy? Give Makanek a whirl

Makanek, or Lebanese sausage, is one of the most flavoursome dishes you can get. We pack our Makanek with spices, then they are twice-cooked in fresh lemon juice.

Perfect to share with a friend – or keep them all to yourself, we won’t judge.

5 – Prefer your vegetables tasty? Don’t miss the Arnabeet

Did you always hate overcooked, soggy vegetables when you were a kid? This dish will transform your opinion of the humble cauliflower!

Our Arnabeet is made by lightly frying cauliflower. We then serve it with a tangy tahini sauce and pine nuts, over a bed of fresh lettuce. It’s vegetables – but not as you know it. Once you’ve had Arnabeet, you’ll never go back to steamed cauliflower again!

6 – Want a healthy option that tastes like a treat? Sample the Batinjan

Healthy and delicious? That’s the Batinjan in a nutshell. We take eggplant and lightly fry it. Add a garlic, tahini and parsley salsa, and you’ve got a serve of vegetables that smells and tastes delightful!

7 – The staple of any Lebanese meal? It’s got to be Kibbi

In Lebanon, no meal is a real meal without including some Kibbi. We take lamb mince and burghul, spice them with our secret blend, add some pine nuts, and serve with yoghurt.

If you truly want to experience what it’s like to enjoy a Lebanese meal, you have to order a plate of Kibbi to share.

8 – Plenty of flavour wrapped in a little parcel? You want the Vine Leaves

Wherever you go in the Mediterranean and Middle East, you will find these delightful little packages. Here, we hand-wrap the vine leaves around rice, tomato, onion, parsley and spices. Then it is cooked in a house-made olive oil and lemon sauce.

But what makes our Vine Leaves truly special is that they are wrapped by Mum herself! She uses leaves that are picked during the summertime for maximum flavour.

9 – Love a good dose of garlic? You’ll be a fan of the Toume

There’s no better combination than creaminess and a garlic flavour. That’s exactly what you’ll get with our Toume dip. Use for your breads or skewers – or both!

10 – How about a creamy dip to try? It’s gotta be our Labneh

Labneh is an interesting food, as it is essentially a cheese made out of yoghurt! The yoghurt is strained to remove the whey, leaving behind a rich cream-cheese like dip. Labneh has a subtle flavour, so it can be used for your breads and skewers, or even added to your salads.

Did you know that Labneh is a rich source of natural probiotics, or good bacteria? So if you’re on a health kick for the summer, this is a great choice for you to try.

Want to try these, and many other delicious options? Be sure to head down to Zaitoune! We have plenty of beverage options to keep you cool, including milkshakes and frappes. So book your table today. We’ll see you at Zaitoune!

It’s coming up to holiday season, and Christmas is creeping in everywhere! That means it’s the perfect time to get your Christmas event sorted.

So if you’re thinking about where to celebrate Christmas, here are 10 reasons to consider Zaitoune as your go-to venue.

Our Food Is Fresh And Delicious

When you think of food at Christmas, you think rich and full of flavour. And the best way to make sure that food is full of flavour is to use fresh ingredients.

Our dishes are focused on fresh, seasonal and local produce. In fact, some of the ingredients come straight from our garden! Food doesn’t get much fresher and delicious than this.

To have a look at some of our yummy food, check out the gallery. You’ll be feeling hungry in no time!

Our Food Is Nutritious

Christmas time is a time to indulge. But you can indulge and still enjoy foods full of health benefits! That’s what you get when you have Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food.

These two cuisines use ingredients, cooking techniques and recipes that not only taste great, but also keep you healthy and happy. So if you’re looking for the perfect balance of nutritious and delicious at your Christmas celebration, we’re the choice for you.

Every Dish Reflects Our Zaitoune Philosophy

We have a philosophy about food: it should be fresh, delicious, and made traditionally. Our recipes and cooking methods have been passed down to us over the generations.

We believe in cooking food with love, using the same methods that we use to feed our own families. And you can taste that love in every mouthful of every single dish at Zaitoune.

We Have Options To Suit Everyone

When it comes to Christmas celebrations that involve food, it can get difficult to manage dietary requirements. But that’s where we can help.

Our menu has a number of options for dietary requirements. So whether you’re looking for vegetarian options, gluten-free options or dairy-free options, we have something to suit you.

If you’re not sure if we’re able to accommodate your needs, simply contact us directly, and we can answer all of your questions. 

Our Venue Is Welcoming And Cosy

The atmosphere of a restaurant can make or break an event. That’s why Zaitoune is designed to feel cosy and friendly. There’s no glaring lights or uncomfortable seats – just comfortable surroundings that make you feel right at home.

Want a sneak peek of our venue? Pop on over to the gallery. 

We Offer Function Options For Larger Events

If you have a large family or circle of friends, you don’t have to miss out on the celebrations. At Zaitoune, we’re able to accommodate up to 100 guests for functions. So there’s no gathering too big or small to hold at our restaurant!

You also have the benefit of working with our designated function coordinators to plan your function. You can even customise menus to suit your needs. So everything will go smoothly, no matter what the size or occasion.

We Have A Banquet Option To Suit You

Do you have a big group to feed at your Christmas event? For the holiday season, Zaitoune offers a number of banquet options to suit your event.

There’s an option to suit every budget. Banquets start from just $48 per person, and include Mezza, coffee, soft drink and sweets. Now that is value for money!

Our Staff Are Focused On Your Enjoyment

One thing that cannot be substandard at a venue is customer service. Our staff are trained carefully and are there to make your visit enjoyable.

If you love service with a smile and a laugh, you’ll love Zaitoune.

We’re A Family

Zaitoune is not just another restaurant and venue. It is a family-owned and run restaurant.  In fact, some dishes are still made by our mum and aunts!

When it comes down to it, Christmas is about being with family and loved ones. We are one big family. And that’s something we like to share with our customers. When you dine with us, you join our Zaitoune family.

We’re About The Overall Experience

A venue can’t have one or two focuses, and let everything else go. Your ideal venue will have it all – excellent customer service, fresh delicious food, options to suit everyone and a cosy atmosphere.

That’s what Zaitoune brings to the table. Our family is proud to share all of these benefits with your family and friends. So let’s celebrate the holiday season together.

Ready to book your table? Don’t hesitate – head straight to our reservation page to avoid disappointment.

The weather is warming up, and that means it’s time to get out there and eat good food! It’s great to experiment with tasty new foods, but it can be intimidating to order off a menu when you don’t know what something is. That’s why we’ve picked out the best 12 Middle Eastern foods to try this summer.


What is it?

This is a very simple food – it’s meat that is cooked on a spit over a long period of time. That means the meat is juicy, tender and full of flavour.

Try it at Zaitoune: Grab a lamb or chicken shawarma wrap at lunchtime, or sit down to enjoy a chicken or lamb shawarma platter with friends.


What is it?

Falafel is a patty made out of chickpeas, fava beans and some delicious herbs and spices. These are then fried until crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

If you’re looking for a vegetarian source of protein, falafel is a perfect pick.

Try it at Zaitoune: Grab a falafel wrap for your lunch, or enjoy a Vegetarian Mixed Plate. You can even order a side of falafel to add to your favourite meal!


What is it?

Tahini is a simple paste made out of sesame seeds. Although it doesn’t sound appealing on its own, it’s a foundational ingredient for many tasty Middle Eastern dishes. It’s also a great source of plant-based calcium.

Try it at Zaitoune: We use tahini in our hummus, Baba Ghanoush and Samkeh Harra, as well as an ingredient in some of our wrap sauces. Check our menu for even more tahini options!


What is it?

Hummus, or hommus, is a dip made out of chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, garlic and lemon juice. It’s perfect for dipping bread, flatbread or even meats into. Hummus is also very popular with little ones, so share it around the family!

Try it at Zaitoune: Grab hummus with pine nuts, spicy meat or both as side option. If you’re with friends, why not get a sampler dip plate to share?

Baba Ghanoush

What is it?

This delicious dish is made using char-grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. The smoky flavour is truly unique, and makes it a crowd-pleaser. Perfect for dipping bread, vegetables and meats.

Try it at Zaitoune: Order it as a side, on the Vegetarian Mixed Plate or served with the chicken and chicken & lamb Feast Boards.


What is it?

This simple salad is not to be missed. Made with tomatoes, parsley, mint, bulgur and onion, it’s seasoned to perfection using olive oil, lemon juice and salt. The fresh minty taste will revitalise your palate.

Try it at Zaitoune: Enjoy it as a side, or try it with our half-metre and metre Feast Boards to share with loved ones.


What is it?

Kafta takes meat to the next level. Using a combination of Middle Eastern spices, lamb or beef is flavoured to perfection and cooked until juicy. It can be served on a skewer, or as a meatball. At Zaitoune, we pride ourselves on our lamb kafta.

Try it at Zaitoune: Grab a wrap at lunchtime, or enjoy with our Mashawi and Skewer plates at the dinner table.


What is it?

This traditional Arab dish is made used lamb, yoghurt and spices. It is slow-cooked, and then served with rice or bulgur. It is the national dish of Jordan, so you know it’s tasty!

Try it at Zaitoune: Enjoy a lamb mansaf, or try a chicken mansaf if you want a twist on the traditional dish.


What is it?

Muhammara is a tasty pepper dip. It’s made using Aleppo peppers, walnuts, breadcrumbs, pomegranate molasses and a blend of herbs and spices. If you like spicy capsicum dip, this is the original.

Try it at Zaitoune: Order as a side, grab a Vegetarian Mixed Plate, or enjoy it with your metre or half-metre Feast Board.

Samkeh Harra

What is it?
This is a Lebanese-style dish that uses white fish. It’s prepared with a tasty tahini sauce, and then served on a bed of rice. In Arabic, ‘Samkeh Harra’ means spicy fish.

Try it at Zaitoune: Find our Samkeh Harra option on the main menu, made using sustainable NZ Hoki fillets.


What is it?

This tasty salad is made using flatbread and garden vegetables, and is dressed with a combination of garlic, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice and olive oil. The flatbread is nice and crispy, so you get plenty of crunch with every mouthful.
Try it at Zaitoune: Order fatoush as a side, or try it from one of our half-metre or metre Feast Boards.


What is it?

Kibbi is a tasty little ball of mince, spices and bulgur. There are many different types of kibbi depending on the origin of the recipe and what ingredients are used. At Zaitoune, we use lamb mince and pine nuts, and serve them with yoghurt.

Try it at Zaitoune: Grab a side of kibbi, or share a metre Feast Board with friends or family.

Are you ready to try some of these delicious dishes? Make sure you pop over and book yourself a table at Zaitoune today!

It’s that time of year where managers remember that Christmas is right around the corner! But don’t worry. If that’s you, we have the tips that will make sure your work Christmas party is a raging success.

Book In Advance

There’s nothing worse than trying to find a venue by November. If you’re smart, you’ll book a venue today. This means you secure your spot at a great venue, and can get people thinking early about keeping the date free.

It’s also a great motivational factor for your workplace. Workers always love chatting about what they’ll wear and how much fun it’s going to be. So if your workplace is feeling the end of year crunch, let your workers know that their end of year reward is already booked.

Find A Function-Friendly Venue

You might have your favourite restaurant. But how terrible would it be if you found out that they don’t allow large group bookings? That’s why it’s important to find somewhere that caters for bigger functions.

First, you need to know your potential number of attendees. Start with the total number of employees at your workplace. Then consider whether you will also have plus ones. Assume that everyone will be coming – this way, you avoid underestimating your number.

If you have more than about a dozen employees, running a function can be difficult. That’s where it’s best to find a venue that has function coordinators available to help you plan your event.

Weather can also play a role in where your function is held. Sure, if it’s December, it should be nice. But Sydney weather can be unpredictable at the best of times! So you want a venue that has undercover areas and air-conditioning available. Comfortable guests are happy guests – no one likes sweat patches or wet feet.

Choose Fantastic Food

In Sydney, food is everything! We like our good food, and no event is complete without it. So make sure that you know how to keep your guests well-fed.

Ideally, you’ll find a venue that includes delicious food to offer at your work Christmas party. Venues that are used to catering to groups are a great choice, as they can produce finger food or sit-down meals, depending on your needs.

How do you know what type of food to serve? It depends on a few factors. If you have a big group, finger food options are more affordable and allow for more socialising. If your team is on the smaller side, a sit-down meal might be more suitable.

Remember, whether you self-cater or use in-house catering, you need to make sure there’s something for everyone. Ask your attendees in advance if there are dietary requirements. Guests feel good when they know that their needs are covered.

You might need to offer gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and/or vegan options. If you use in-house catering, simply pass these requirements onto the venue team in advance.

Know Your Alcohol Options

Do you know whether you want a dry event, an open bar, or a BYO? Whichever way you go, you need to know that the venue is suitable for your needs.

If you are including alcohol in your work Christmas party, security may become a consideration. This is something to bring up with the venue function coordinator if available. If not, you may need to bring in a security guard or two for the event. They will make sure everyone stays safe and leaves safely.

If you decide to keep the experience alcohol-free, make sure this is clearly communicated to guests. Then ensure that there are plenty of delicious alcohol-free drink options.

Choose A Real Experience

The real ‘blah’ work Christmas parties are the parties that just mish-mash things together. If the food’s average, the venue is ok and the tunes are half-hearted, your guests will be yawning. Instead, you want to make the event a real experience.

That’s where a venue function coordinator really shines. A comfortable, inviting area needs to be blended with quality food, appropriate music and professional, friendly venue staff. Your guests want time to socialise, but also an opportunity to sit and enjoy.

Add in a couple of giveaways, awards or fun competitions, and you have a winning formula for a great work Christmas party.

So have a look at your plans for the event. Are you going through the motions – or are you creating a truly enjoyable experience?

Do You Need To Throw An Amazing Work Christmas Party?

At Zaitoune, we have everything you need to have a great work function at any time of year! Our venue function coordinators can answer any questions you have about your special occasion.

We serve delicious Mediterranean and Lebanese food that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Our menus can be customised to suit your needs. We can also offer food that suits many dietary requirements upon request.

Our restaurant is well-known for its successful functions. We’re able to cater for large events with up to 100 function guests, but small functions are also more than welcome.

No matter what drinks options you want for your event, we can help. Zaitoune serves alcohol within the restaurant. We can also accommodate BYO or arrange for tasty non-alcoholic beverages like our frappes, milkshakes and rosewater lemonade.

Most importantly, our Zaitoune family wants your function to be a success! So our staff will be on hand ready to help you have an amazing time.

Ready to book your work Christmas party at Zaitoune? Simply fill in our easy function form, and we’ll be in touch to organise your event.

Here at Zaitoune, we love to serve delicious Mediterranean-style food – just like the food our mothers made us. But did you know that Mediterranean food is incredibly good for you?

Research suggests that a Mediterranean-style diet and lifestyle can keep you healthier for longer. It could protect you from disease, help you maintain a healthy weight, and boost your energy levels naturally.

A Mediterranean diet contains several key foods that are full of nutrition. Here are just some of the core ingredients we use in our dishes that offer health benefits.



Beans and lentils might seem bland by themselves. But when you combine them with Mediterranean herbs and spices and some olive oil, they transform into a delicious meal.

Legumes can also greatly benefit your health. They’re packed full of fibre, minerals and protein that keep your body healthy and strong. Legumes also contain unique antioxidants that can support your health.

Consuming legumes regularly may:

  • Aid digestion
  • Support healthy gut bacteria
  • Keep you fuller for longer
  • Aid in weight loss and maintenance
  • Reduce cholesterol
  • Reduce risk of heart disease
  • Balance energy levels
  • Reduce risk of type 2 diabetes

Find them in: Our Falafels, Hummus and Majadra.


Olive Oil

Healthy fats are where it’s at right now, and olive oil is the king of good fats. It’s also a staple of Mediterranean cuisine, adding flavour and depth to many dishes.

Our bodies need fat to function. But by including olive oil as a fat source, you also experience the benefits of the antioxidants and fat-soluble vitamins.

Olive oil contains vitamin E, vitamin K, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants. The antioxidants are known as polyphenols, and are the main reason why olive oil is so good for you.

Consuming olive oil on a regular basis may:

  • Reduce risk of heart disease
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Help lower blood pressure
  • Improve cholesterol levels
  • Reduce cancer risk
  • Protect the brain from damage that leads to Alzheimer’s
  • Keep you fuller for longer
  • Aid in weight loss and maintenance

Find it in: Our dips, salads, sides… delicious olive oil is everywhere at Zaitoune!


Nuts And Seeds

You might think that nuts and seeds are just for snacks. But Mediterranean cooking means that nuts and seeds are incorporated into main meals, with tasty results.

Nuts and seeds can provide a variety of nutrients. Most are high in fibre, protein and healthy fats. Some, such as walnuts, also contain omega-3 fatty acids. They are also typically high in antioxidants and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E.

Adding nuts and seeds into your diet may:

  • Reduce risk of heart disease
  • Keep you fuller for longer
  • Aid in weight loss and maintenance
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve brain function
  • Balance energy levels
  • Help keep skin feeling firm, healthy and clear

Find them in: Our dips, Mansafs and Samkeh Harra.



We all know that veg are so good for us. But despite that, many Australians don’t consume enough of them.

But Mediterranean food incorporates plenty of fresh vegetables in a tasty way. They are seasoned with herbs and spices that bring out the natural flavour. So you can eat your veggies without it feeling like ‘rabbit food’.

Vegetables are some of the healthiest foods on the planet. They contain plenty of fibre, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that protect your body from injury and illness.

Eating plenty of vegetables may:

  • Reduce heart disease risk
  • Reduce type 2 diabetes risk
  • Help with weight loss and maintenance
  • Balance energy levels
  • Boost nutrient stores
  • Protect against disease and injury
  • Help keep skin clear and firm
  • Aid digestive health
  • Boost your overall vitality

Find them in: Most of our dishes – from eggplant to tomato and fresh salad leaves, you’re bound to find a favourite.


Why Choose Mediterranean?

The most important thing when choosing a healthy way of eating is to find something that works for you. If it’s restrictive and bland, or socially isolating, you’ll never stick to it! But eating Mediterranean food is NEVER bland, and it’s far from restrictive.

So why is a Mediterranean diet a good choice? We think there’s a few important factors that make it healthier and more sustainable.

  1. It focuses on fresh foods prepared to taste amazing. This is great for your body, but you’re also more likely to eat tasty foods!
  2. It’s been around for centuries. To us, that means it is both effective for well-being and sustainable over the long term.
  3. It’s not a restrictive way of eating. You don’t have to skip dessert – in fact, we have plenty of sweet options for you to try!
  4. It encourages a sense of community and family. We believe that food is a communal experience, to be shared with loved ones whenever possible. That’s why we think of Zaitoune as our home, and you as our friends.

It’s clear that Mediterranean food is both delicious and good for you. So if you’re looking for a good meal that tastes amazing, make sure you stop by Zaitoune. We’d love to share our food, and our home, with you in true Mediterranean style!

Everyone enjoys food. But have you ever thought about how the food you eat is sourced, prepared and served? For the best quality food, every step of the way needs to be considered. Here at Zaitoune, we’re passionate about preparing food that is fresh, authentic, high-quality, and of course delicious! That’s why we’re sharing some thoughts about how food should be.

Sourcing Food

For the best quality food, it all starts with sourcing ingredients. The best sources for amazing food are local producers, or even a home-grown garden!

At Zaitoune, we pride ourselves on sourcing the best. We source local and seasonal produce. Some of our ingredients even come from our own vegetable garden. You don’t get fresher than that!

Even the ingredients we store are treated with absolute care. Our vine leaves are picked over the summer, and safely preserved in the freezer. This means more flavour for you to enjoy year-round.

The Ingredients

The building blocks of a beautiful dish is quality ingredients that are fresh and delicious. Without these building blocks, a dish will flop. Brilliant ingredients make brilliant food.

At Zaitoune, we have a few specific requirements for the ingredients we use. Whenever possible, they need to be:

  • Fresh
  • Seasonal
  • Locally sourced or homegrown
  • Traditional and authentic to our cuisines
  • Delicious, of course!

Preparing Food

The true art of food is in the preparation methods used. Beautiful ingredients deserve the best treatment, so that you get the best flavour.

That’s why we put so much time and effort into our food preparation every single day. We use traditional preparation methods that bring out the flavour in every dish and ingredient. Here’s just a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes when preparing food at Zaitoune:

  • Mum herself wraps our vine leaves, using leaves picked in summertime
  • Our kibbi and sambousek are handmade by our aunts – the very experts in preparing these delicious dishes!
  • We soak and boil chickpeas and faba beans for our homemade hummus and falafels (the best that you’ll find in Sydney!)
  • All of our preparation techniques are the same homemade style that we use to cook food for our children
  • We maintain a 5 Star Rating for hygiene and food safety, so you know your food is of the highest quality


Cooking Food

Finally, it’s time to cook the food. But food is meant to be cooked with heart. It always tastes best when cooked by someone passionate about cooking and sharing delicious food.

Our chefs love to cook beautiful home-style food every day. Everything that you order is cooked fresh for you. They use traditional cooking methods that have been passed down over the centuries. Every dish is the result of generations of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern families with a passion for food.

We believe this is how food is supposed to be – fresh, flavoursome and full of love. Every mouthful tells you the story of the food – from the ground it grows in, to the table we place it on.

Serving Food

A restaurant can serve you the most delicious meal in the world. But if it’s delivered poorly, your experience is ruined! Food should be served to look as good as it tastes, and with a smile.

We know that service is just as key as the food we make. That’s why our chefs create beautiful dishes, and our staff are always ready to help you with anything you need.

So if you want to eat food that tastes amazing every time, you want to look for food that is:

  • Sourced locally
  • Made with the best ingredients available
  • Prepared using traditional methods
  • Cooked with love
  • Served with a smile

That is exactly what we aim to offer you every day. Whether it’s a quick wrap for lunch, or a mezze feast with loved ones, we want it to be an experience you won’t forget.

At Zaitoune, food is our passion. But we are also always open to feedback and suggestions. So if you want to share your ideas about quality food, be sure to reach out and contact us. Leave us a comment on Facebook, or send a message via our contact page. We’re listening!

Have you experienced the Zaitoune philosophy first-hand? Love the fresh, flavoursome food? Make sure you tag us in your photos and share it with us.

Eating out as a vegetarian can be challenging at times. Even if you manage to find a single vegetarian dish, they’re often bland and boring.

But at Zaitoune, we’ve got you covered. From flavour-packed mains and salads to sides and dips, there’s something that everyone can enjoy. Today, we share our favourite vegetarian dishes for every occasion and appetite. All our vegetables are sourced locally, and everything is made in house. The vine leaves are wrapped by our mum from fresh leaves, that are sourced from her own and relatives grape vine’s cooked in fresh Tomato water and lemon juice. Our delicious meals are an experience not to forget. 

Top Picks: Mains

Vegetarian Mixed Plate

A mixed plate designed for you, what more could you ask for? This plate incorporates all of our best options for a vegetarian meal.

You’ll love the dip options – both creamy hummus and baba ghanoush, plus a spicy muhammara to fire up your taste buds.

The warm spicy falafel and tangy vine leaves will fill you up, while still being light. Add some lightly fried cauliflower and eggplant, and you’ve got the perfect mix of vegetarian options.

Vegetarian Half-Metre Mezza Boards

The ultimate in vegetarian dining – a half-metre mezza board of deliciousness! If you can’t pick which dish to try, this is the choice for you. It’s got plenty of dips, sides and salad options for you to enjoy. Every single one is packed full of flavour, so you can’t go wrong.

With Every Mezza Board, You Get To Enjoy:

Creamy hummus
Smoky baba ghanoush
Spicy muhammara
Tangy tzatziki
Luscious labne
Fresh tabouli
Tasty potatoes with coriander and garlic
Warm falafels
Packed vine leaves
Perfectly cooked arnabeet (cauliflower salad)
Mouth-watering fatoush (bread and greens salad)
Crunchy pickles

Remember, you need at least 2 people for a mezza board – you can’t keep all of that goodness to yourself! So bring along a veggie-loving friend to share with.



Top Picks: Sides


When it comes to crafting the perfect eggplant dish, it’s all about the preparation. We lightly fry ours, so that it’s never soggy. Then we serve it with a light and creamy yoghurt, cucumber and mint sauce that gives a fresh taste.

The end result is our delicious batinjan. Pair it with your favourite salad, or enjoy it solo – the choice is yours.

Vine Leaves

You don’t get more traditional than stuffed vine leaves. We pack ours full of rice, tomato, onion, parsley and a blend of spices that will have your mouth watering.

They are then gently cooked in an olive oil and lemon sauce to bring out the flavour. Perfect for when you want a light meal, or paired with some of our salads and dips.

Potatoes And Coriander

Everyone loves potatoes, but we think you’ll love ours even more. We hand cut our potatoes, and then cook them to perfection.

Mixed with garlic and coriander, they are far more flavoursome and delicious than your average potato dish. Even the most dedicated carnivores will be asking for more!

Top Picks: Salads

Halloumi Salad

No one likes a boring salad. That’s why we’ve created a combination of tasty ingredients that your taste-buds will love.

First we grill halloumi to perfection, so that it’s crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. Then we place it on top of a bed of rocket, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and onion. We finish it off by drizzling it with a sweet pomegranate molasses and olive oil dressing.

This salad is a must-try for every cheese fan out there – the ideal mix of salty, fresh and sweet in every mouthful.


For a traditional Middle-Eastern salad, you have to pick our fabulous fatoush. This bread salad is a must-try for anyone who wants a tasty cultural experience.

We make this salad with a traditional Levantine pita bread. We toss crunchy pieces of pita with tomato, cucumber, radish, onion, cabbage and parsley. Then we dress it with garlic, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice and olive oil.

This creates a delicious mix of fresh flavours and textures that will keep your tastebuds tingling.

At your request, we can make this salad gluten-free, so don’t feel like you have to miss out if you can’t have gluten!


Top Picks: Dips

Hummus With Roasted Pine Nuts

If you haven’t had hummus before – it’s time to change that. This classic chickpea-based dip is everyone’s favourite!

We make our traditional-style chickpea dip with tahini, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Then for a crunchy finish, we top it with roasted pine nuts.

Whether you enjoy it with crispy pita bread, scooped over a salad or spread over eggplant slices, it’s fresh and delicious. In fact, it’s so good, you might even just eat it with a spoon – don’t worry, we won’t judge you.


If you like to live on the spicier side of life, muhammara is the dip for you. We’ve perfected this Aleppo pepper based dip – you won’t find better.

With ground walnuts, breadcrumbs, pomegranate molasses, herbs and spices mixed together with the spicy peppers, it makes a rich, flavour-packed dip. We drizzle it with olive oil right before serving.

If you’re not a fan of hot spices, don’t be shy – this pepper only has a moderate heat that builds gradually, so you get that warm glow after every taste.

Which dish do you love the sound of most? Share with us below.

Can’t wait to get your hands on delicious vegetarian food? Book a table today!

You’ve heard it right…!! Come and enjoy Authentic Lebanese Food cooked with fresh local and seasonal products and also some of which is grown in our own productive Vegetable garden at Zaitoune from 11:30am to 3:30pm (Lunch Hours).

We are offering 10% Discount on our Eat-in Menu on all items except for Mezza Boards.

This Promotion is available from today until unless otherwise stated.

*Terms & Conditions apply.

Have you and your friends and family tried Zaitoune Restaurant in Putney, Sydney?

Zaitoune is now offering Shisha Sunday evenings to Thursday evenings every week. Shisha is the perfect way to relax after a hard day at work and perfect for enjoying some quality time with your friends and family.

A Little History About Shisha

Shisha is known all around the world by many different names such as water pipe, Hookah and okka. Shisha or a Hookah is an old delicacy from the sub-continent.  It became popular around the 15th century, when Indian glass makers began to export their goods to the West with the help of the East India Company. The base of the Hookah is called a Shisha and soon it became quite popular even among the British elite. Shisha was extremely popular among the monarchy, especially the Mughals and the Ottoman kings and tobacco became a stable drug which people smoked in Shisha.

Shisha like scotch or brandy was considered an after dinner treat among the royals. It is still very popular in the Middle East and South-East Asia today. The traditional Hookahs or Shishas were beautifully designed and sometimes even hand painted and crafted with bold, vibrant colors.

Unlike in the West where Shisha is only served in bars and cafes, in the Middle East, India and Pakistan it is far more common especially in the rural areas and among the labor class. Egypt is one of the most famous places where Hookah is quite popular and both men and women all around the World, especially the Middle East enjoy the water pipe. Surprisingly in cultures where smoking is not seen as a feminine act and less tolerance is shown to women who smoke, Shisha or Hookah does not have the same taboo or generate the same response. Hence Shisha to this day still loosely fits in the social norms of the society.

Shisha comes in many different types of flavors including a variety of tobacco flavors which are most commonly used.  Flavors such as fruity, minty, rich and creamy etc. are widely available in the market and many people now prepare their own Shisha’s at home.

At Zaitoune we offer many flavors that would satisfy your taste buds and leave you craving for more. We offer Shisha from Sunday evening to Thursday evenings to make your hangouts interesting and fun.

Check out our website or come visit us at Zaitoune and enjoy the water pipe in its various flavors surrounded by some soothing music and excellent ambiance. And of course, don’t forget our stunning cuisine!