Danny’s @ 52, 525 Glenhuntly Rd, Elsternwick. Phone: 9530 005
Before I meet our pal Nat at Danny’s, I have time to live.
About an hour and a half of it.
I spend it happily wandering … back along Warrigal Rd, along North Rd, zigging here, zagging there, along the Carnegie retail area and finally taking in the upper reaches of Glenhuntly Rd, which I have never before laid eyes on.
Even after parking, I have time so take in the sights of the Danny’s neighbourhood.
Of course, the whole way I am rubbernecking and on the lookout for foodiness.
There’s a lot of it about.
Naturally, all this browsing – and, in some cases, stopping, parking and getting out for a better look at some promising eats places – has sharpened up my appetite.
I’m hungry and ready for lunch.
Over lunch, I’m unsurprised to find that several of the food places I’ve spied on my journey have been covered by Nat at Urbanspoon. This is his stomping ground, after all.
We’ve arranged to meet at Danny’s for lunch as a natural extension of our mutual interest in Middle Eastern food, with CTS having this year gleefully travelling to Coburg and Brunswick, as well as various parts of the west, in a joyful search of discovery.
Here, then, is a grand chance to sample some Middle Eastern food from the “other” side of town.
Despite the area being known as a Jewish enclave, it’s not Jewish food I am expecting.
I’m expecting Middle Eastern food of the Israeli variety.
And so it proves to be.
We order the Mega Falafel Plate for $15.50.
We order, too, the Mixed Grill for $30.
This seems like over-ordering of the highest order, but we acquit ourselves well and do so without getting too full.
The falafel plate is a thing of deliciousness.
The falafel balls themselves – 14 of them – are small, fresh, grease-free and crispy on the outside. Inside they’re delicate, green and with great flavour.
They go great the hummus.
The salady bits make a perfect foil.
They include marinated cauliflower, pickled cucumbers and pickled onion, the pinkness of which makes it a sure thing it has been produced using the same method as turshi.
Also on board are coarsely chopped coleslaw and a happy jumble of tomato, cucumber, capsicum and the like called Israeli Salad.
The meat plate is good, too, but doesn’t quite hit the same high spots for me.
The meat is as juicy an tender as you’d expect, but some of the sauces are bit too heavy and sticky for my taste. For me, this is generally good-to-very-good rather than “wow!”
The exceptions are the two cigar-shaped kebab sausages, one lamb and one chicken, that have a lovely lightness of flavour and texture.
The chicken one, especially, is a winner, reminding of a weisswurst snag – except, of course, it’s not porky!
Danny’s is an ace place. The service, staff and their welcome are genuinely warm and friendly.
There’s lots more to explore – I’d love to get my choppers around something like the whole grilled snapper with the sort of sides and accompaniments available here.
Thanks to very much to Nat for the suggestion and the company!