The rice is great, of course



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.



47 thoughts on “The rice is great, of course

      • Tim I don’t know Williamstown but the racecourse rd is actually where the Kensington and Flemington suburbs meet,it’s same place and most of the black restaurants are Somalian,Eritrean. 57 tram from city go right through racecourse rd all the way to highpoint shopping center.


    • Tim if are after full blown soul,in Flemington try house of Mandi and hashtag Somali eats,both eateries all the bone soup 2 bone meat & in consider the sauce said Somali dish is still new ,trying to be on its feet


    • The meals in house of Mandi are enormous,and staff very friendly,in late weekend night out tired,they about to close but accommodate us with smiles and cheeer us up,unforgettable experience for me and my friends,still can’t get over their rice,absolutely delicious.Tim give it ago house of Mandi,you will not regret


  1. Crowded House is a fine modern-style cafe, but Williamstown still lags behind other parts of the west for our tastes. All the Flemington Somalian eateries – and much more – are within a few minutes’ walk of Flemington train station. Other good locales for train stations – Footscray, Sunshine, St Albans.


  2. Accurate story brilliant,I see more Somalian opening the hood.every one I know who tried the Somalian rice said,heaven.Very well seasoned and their meat too.and enormous for what you pay.home style magic

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, yes and yes! We love them all. It’s the true soul food of Melbourne. We love the fancy rib and BBQ places, but they can really hurt the wallet. Soul food – as in the original US sense of the phrase – means not just great food but also low prices for the people. e.g. Somalian!


      • I’m British Londoner but lived in US in some years,the Somalian,Caribbean ranked top in my charter. soul soul soul is the somalians,made that more fabulous the Flem/Ken hood in my humble opinion.


      • Affordability is what makes great experience in soul,like my partner will need Harlem dancing shoes after Somalian dinner,it really was unforgettable experience.


  3. I live in city technically but in boundary rd north Melbourne,I say Flemington because so close proximity.the west is world of wonder you are accurate ,somalian,Vietnamese Malaysian is dinner routine but others now and then too. The west is cosmopolitan world


  4. Considerthesauce you know your soul.yes Somali ticks all the box of SOUL.,cheap, large portions,home style cooking,nothing is fake,u get what somali eats in their private homes.the Somali meats& rice carry lots spices&less oil,ie healthy.Somalian is mostly highly regarded in Americans soul.


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