The lure of Sydney Road

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Al Hana Charcoal Chicken, 417  Sydney Road, Coburg. Phone: 9354 4300

Despite the improved situation of Middle Eastern food in the western suburbs, CTS continues to feel the pull of Sydney Road in Coburg.

The starting part of Sydney Road, upwards from Royal Parade, has some marvellous food even if it’s looking more like Fitzroy these days.

But it is the kilometre or so south of Pentridge Prison that draws us.

Sometimes it’s just about needing a bit of a drive.

A time to ponder, to chill, to work through a knotty problem or even write a story in my head while listening to some pounding sounds.

And sometimes it’s just about the food.

I like the fact that as I cross the freeway, the houses on the narrow streets are different from those of the west.

I love the diversity of this part of Sydney Road.

The shop spread is a kaleidoscopic marvel.

Most of all, perhaps and putting aside our favourite eating places hereabouts, I love most the handful of really old-school arcades running off Sydney Road.

This is a retailing style that is pretty much extinct, though there are a few such arcades off Keilor Road in Niddrie.

 

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Al Hana is like a cross between a regular Aussie charcoal chicken shop and a Lebanese grill house.

There’s lamb here but it is chook that dominates.

This is my second visit to Al Hana and I order the exact same meal – the half-chicken meal for $17.95.

This time around, the chicken is a bit of a disappointment.

The breast meat is too dry and all is simply a bit on the bland side – even the skin.

The leg is a winner, though.

The accoutrements are outstanding.

Three dips – a creamy garlic, smoky eggplant, hoummus – are all terrific.

The chips are hot and crisp.

The tabouleh is wet, fresh and lemony.

And there’s two kind of pickles – cucumber and turshi.

There’s so much food, I barely make use of the pita bread provided, instead dipping the chips in the dips.

Makes a difference from the ubiquitous mayo or aoili of burger bars!

 

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11 thoughts on “The lure of Sydney Road

  1. i love the food scene in this area,but i must admit,finding parking drives me mad! may be i need to learn secret corners to parking this area lol i’ve same issue on racecourse rd,flemington too..

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  2. in somalia & east africa, camel is more than just meat/milk,its is used for centuries to cure many illness & still used today..many of western world didnt get chance to investigate this animal due cultural barrier,as it was seen some as sort of horse or weird animal to be eaten!..its like telling africans to eat crayfish,they will look at u as if u r mad ,haha exactally how westerner will respond when u tell eat camel .its interesting how culture stops people from trying a meat!

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  3. if u go to coles supermarket to get camel burger,make sure u let your family know first b 4 they see camel burger in trolley!! no surprise heart attack hahahhaah i just yes kenny with camel burger in trolley yes why cant i stop laughing..

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