109 Elgin Street Carlton, VIC 3053
|Opening hours||Mon-Wed, Sat 6pm-10pm,Thurs-Fri noon-3pm, 6pm-10pm|
|Features||Accepts bookings, Business lunch, BYO, Degustation, Gluten-free options, Groups, Licensed, Lunch specials, Vegetarian friendly|
|Prices||Moderate (mains $20-$40)|
|Payments||Diner's Club, eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard|
|Phone||03 9347 0006|
Abla Amad was a pioneer of Lebanese cuisine in Melbourne. Now she's a stalwart. Her humble, homely restaurant has been in every one of the Guide's 33 editions and in 34 years it has changed little. For many, that's its charm. The hospitality is undeniable. Curious about the Lebanese wine? You may be offered a taste. Want to bring a gang? The place is full of convivial groups feasting on the $60 banquet. BYO? No problem. Half serves? They're volunteered. While newer Lebanese restaurants have been more fashionable, innovative (and pricier), Abla's remains as its regulars seem to like it. The food's reliable and comforting: smoky eggplant dip; neat, lemony silverbeet rolls filled with rice and chickpeas; white zucchini in tomato broth and stuffed with parsley-flecked rice. Tabbouleh accompanies skewered grilled minced lamb; rice, lentils and caramelised onion come to be dolloped with tart yoghurt. Cool, light rosewater custard beneath a pistachio crust is as sweet as the service.