Yemeni Restaurant revisited


124 Union Rd, Ascot Vale. Phone: 9372 0854

Yemini Restaurant had been one our earliest outings here on Consider The Sauce, but as the “under new management” sign has been up for some months, we deem it time for a return visit.

The main change seems to be a much tighter and more focused menu – this is no cause for alarm; indeed it may be good news.

The handful of dishes now available all clock in at $12.

A few weeks previous, on my ownsome, I’d had burmah – “Bedouin-style tender lamb on the bone slow-cooked with khubz (traditional Yemeni bread) on rice”. It was pretty good, too, the meal coming to my table in a very hot pot, the cooking liquid then poured into a bowl for soup purposes. It was much like the lamb broth at Safari Restaurant up the road, only much more spicy and piquant.

The meat was eaten separately, with flat bread that looked suspiciously like blandola store-bought roti. Wrong! This was the royalty of  flat bread – flaky and rich and impossible to stop eating.

For our Saturday lunch we tell the staff we are two hungry lads – but not THAT hungry. Would it be possible to enlarge, for a suitable fee, one of the main plates for sharing purposes?

Certainly – and a $5 premium is agreed upon.

As we wait, there arises a certain amount of tension and unease concerning our – OK, my – photographic activities that require quite some minutes of dialogue across and language and cultural barriers.

I succeed, eventually, in assuring them our intentions are only of the highest order, and that, no, we will not be sending them an invoice for a write-up on our website and that, yes, we fully intend to pay for our lunch.


I doubt there’s much difference between the standard plate and our deluxe version, but it matters not, for it just right for the pair of us.

Our lamb mandi – “slow-cooked lamb with baharat (mixture of Yemeni spices) served with rice, salad, shitni (green chili sauce) and Khiar bil laban (cucumber dip)” – is similar to meals we’d under the joint’s previous incarnation, with some key differences.

No sign of the green chilli mash – this time the spice hit comes with a much greater kick from red/brown dip that consequently requires much more judicious imbibing.

The rice is minus the sultanas and strands of deep brown fried onion of earlier visits – but it’s even better. In fact, it’s much MUCH better. Rice to inhale, rice to dream about. The mixed jumble of yellow and white grains, obviously cooked in some form of stock, have through them some translucent onion slices and some seasoning that appears to include at the least black peppercorns. It’s very plain but astounding in its effect.

The two pieces of lamb – Bennie is lucky enough to score a four-point rack – are sublimely crusty on the outer and tender on the inner. A piece apiece is more than enough.

After we’d restored goodwill with the staff, we are told that menu changes are afoot, with more and different choices in the offing. We’ll be watching with interest.

Because Yemeni Restaurant, whatever changes have been or are about to be wrought, remains a singular gem  of our western suburbs food scene.

Yemeni Restaurant on Urbanspoon

6 thoughts on “Yemeni Restaurant revisited

    • Under the previous management, it varied a bit. They did a range of brekkie dishes, but only from 11am or so. The menu now is strictly lunch and/or dinner. Give them a call. I know you’ve raised with me the idea of putting opening hours on our reviews. One reason we don’t is laziness. But also, with a lot of these joints, there are no official opening hours. Or, if they we were to offer them and we were to publish them, I reckon they’d be unreliable as a guide anyhow. In short, “what days/hours” can depend on the day and the hour. Lord knows how many times Bennie and I have fronted a place expecting it to be open based on previous experience of that particular day/hour, only to be disappointed.


  1. I am just devastated that they changed the khubz. That, with lamb mandi and lashings of the green chilli paste, was simply perfection. Still – I’ll go back.

    Good review!


  2. Took my GF to this restaurant today, and I must admit the food was lovely. Thanks for your review. Having been born and brought up in the middle-east, I enjoy arabic cuisine a lot.

    Initially found your page when looking for Filipino restaurants.

    Keep up the great work 🙂


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