Chalk Cafe

107 South Street Granville, NSW 2142

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Opening hours Mon-Sun, 10am-midnight

Once you get to Chalk Cafe in Granville, after walking past Indian grocers, Vietnamese bakeries, a funeral parlour, Jehovah's Witness temple and unisex hair salon, it's easy to understand the name. A blackboard along one half of the rather barn-like room is adorned with the doodles, daydreams and declarations of love - be it for a football team or significant others - from its patrons. Someone has even written ''I was 'ere'' which seems rather quaint in these days of social networking sites and the like. The smattering of red and black leather couches and pot plants provide splashes of colour but with the grey steel tables and chairs, and the outdoor heaters parked inside, it's a bit cafeteria-esque. The Lebanese music is uplifting and the friendly staff adds warmth.

The food smells wafting about are delicious. A glass case displays fresh salads and dips, and meat sizzles on skewers and burning coals. Office and road workers stream in to pick up take-away, including steaming chickens, sandwiches and wraps. The falafel platter ($12) with hummus, tahini, tabouli, an assortment of pickles, pita bread and chips is large enough to cause a slight panic that I have ordered for myself something meant to be shared. The falafels are hot and fresh, crunchy on the outside and fleshy on the inside. Wrapped up with the tabouli and dips, they make a messy but enormously satisfying lunch. This leaves no room for the chips, which is just as well as they are a bit soggy and underwhelming.

My latte, served in a tall glass, is scalding hot and tastes a little burnt. I probably would have been better to cap the feasting off with an Oreo or lemon frappe. Or perhaps a mint tea and a lie-down.

Chalk Cafe

Address: 107 South Street, Granville, 9637 8448

Open: Mon-Sun, 10am-midnight