Sheesh Grill, 255 Mickleham Road, Tullamarine/Westmeadows. Phone: 9330 3050
When I first visited Sheesh Grill a few weeks back, my heart sank at the very appearance of the place – it looks like any old franchise fast-food hole.
My heart sank and so, too, did my expectations of a fine feed.
So I was surprised and delighted to enjoy a lovely platter of Lebanese food that defied the setting by being very good.
This was genuine Lebanese food – fresh, tasty and excellent value.
Even better, all the baked goods are, I was told, baked on the premises.
I was keen to return with more eager hands and mouths around which to base an official CTS post.
Sheesh Grill does do hamburgers, and I reckon there’s enough going on in the menu to please just about anyone.
And I also reckon the fast-food ambiance could win over youngsters who otherwise might have nothing but contempt for the more wholesome and tasty goodies at hand.
There’s starters such as filo pastries, kibbeh, stuffed vine leaves and falafels.
There’s dips and salads.
And there’s a heap of meat – shawarma and on skewers.
All of the above are available in a wide variety of configurations.
The member of our trio who orders the above-pictured Sheesh Feast ($18.95) does so on the basis of being “very hungry”.
But it beats her, with Bennie and I happy to help out as she winds down.
The platter has a skewer each of chicken and kafta, a sambouusek (sort of like a curry puff), a kibbeh, falafels, stuffed vine leaves, chips, rice (real Middle Eastern rice), tabouli, pickles and hummus.
I know on the basis of my inaugural visit how good are the stuffed vine leaves and tabouli.
The is a great value meal and would actually do two reasonably hungry people quite easily.
I’ve been happy for Bennie to order a burger just to see how this place goes with that.
But I feel sorry for him when his meal arrives.
He reports that his Ultimate Burger ($10.95) is OK but nothing special. He gets a small chips and a soft drink as add-ons for $2 each.
I hope for a certain level of excellence in chips served at Middle Eastern eateries. These don’t quite qualify; the ones I had on my initial visit did.
It’s not that Bennie’s burger is any way bad or sub-standard – it’s just that the regular Lebanese fare aces it.
The lesson is simple – this place may actually do burgers but the more traditional Lebanese food is where it’s at.
My “regular” sheesh lamb plate ($13.95) is excellent. The larger plates of lamb, chicken or kafta cost $17.95.
All is good or better – a tangy eggplant dip, fattoush, pickles, the same chips and rice as above, and two skewers of succulent lamb insterspersed with onion and capsicum.
Sheesh Grill is well worth a short jaunt up the Ring Road.