Somali Dish, 264 Racecourse Road.
When it comes time – in about a week or so – to collate the now traditional round-up of this year’s CTS highlights, there’s no doubt the Somalian food of Racecourse Road will be right at the top of the list.
It has given CTS – including Bennie and myself and various friends along the way – a lot of pleasure.
And now it seems this fabulous community of restaurants is on the cusp of richly deserved recognition beyond the local neighbourhood and even the inner west, with a Melbourne Food & Wine Festival scheduled for New Somali Kitchen.
In the meantime, what could be better in terms of building on the Somalian buzz than a new eatery?
Nothing at all.
So Bennie and I are only too happy to step into the latest arrival, Somali Dish.
It’s run by another husband-and-wife team, Ahmed Qahira and Sadia H Abdi, and is situated down towards the Quiet Man end of the strip.
I enjoy talking with Ahmed, whose pre-restaurant life seems to have been largely involved with community service of various types.
And he seems to enjoy our enthusiasm for and interest in the food being laid on here.
And terrific it is, too.
This classic federation-style platter costs us a grand total of $13 each and we love it to bits.
The rice is brilliant in the Somalian way, while the pasta sauce is even drier the usual with crumbly (but lovely) meat.
A super jumble of peas, carrots, onion and capsicum is abetted by fine salad.
And the lamb is all yummy and comes from the bones very easily.
We’re even served a couple of those sponge-like Somalian falafels.
This crew is just getting started, really, and in time the fare here will hopefully mirror the photos adorning the frontage, which portray – beyond our rice offerings – a range of snacky things and even lasagne.