Saj Mediterranean Grill, Shop 27 320-380 Epsom Road, Ascot Vale. Phone: 9078 2633
After a happy first-up visit to Saj, I was always keen for a prompt return.
Mostly to see if I could talk the staff into serving their marinated, skewered meats on a plate with accessories – my preferred option and delight.
Perusal of their menu – which can be seen in the story of that debut visit here – seemed to have the meats only available in wrap form.
As luck would have it, a return visit comes to be much more quickly than I had foreseen – five minutes after Nat Stockley and I arrange a quickie impromptu dinner, I’m in the car and headed for Ascot Vale.
And as it turns out, Nat’s eyes prove a lot sharper than mine – what I want is right there on the menu, he points out, under the heading of “Eat in deals”.
Oh happy day!
This is the sort of Lebanese platter I have been yearning for, and wanting in the west, for years.
We both order identical $14.50 plates with one skewer each of lamb, chicken and kofta.
The hommus and baba ghannouj are as on that first visit – excellent.
So is the tabouli, our plates graced with quite large serves of it in cabbage leave cups.
A special word of praise for this Saj salad effort – not only is it sublimely moist and lemony, it also includes the all-important fresh mint, something often omitted from eatery versions.
The meats are fine, especially the nicely seasoned kofta.
We both reckon, though, the meats have all spent about a couple of minutes too long on the grill, the lamb cubes in particular being overcooked – not to the point of being unenjoyable, mind you.
We mention this to the staff as we are paying and leaving, and are told of one customer earlier in the day who expressed distaste for having her lamb pieces “pink in the middle”.
So CTS advises open and frank meat discourse with the Saj folks!