Gluten-free pioneer and restaurateur Tracey Hassarati says 52 families from the Lebanese village of Bann settled in and around Sydney's Pennant Hills in the post-war era, yet the area has always been short on Lebanese-accented food venues.
"Lebanese [home] kitchens are like operating theatres, they think the best food is at home. Every family says it has the best tabbouleh maker," she explains.
So, the Hassarati family has opened Byblos Grill, which mixes Lebanese street food with a rolling dish of the week you'd usually only find in a Lebanese home.
Throw in wall art cooler than a Banksy installation, and Byblos is worth a pitstop. Hassarati, who along with her husband Joe, set up pizza base giant Julian's Gluten Free in 2005, maintains Byblos prepares its dishes differently from standard Sydney Lebanese food.
"It's little things, like using better quality meats in the kofta, fresh herbs in the falafel," she says.
So strong is the attachment to the family kitchen, when Lebanese migrants leave home they'd dip a cloth in their mother's labna to take on their journey: "a piece of home in their heart."
"We don't want to compete with cooking at home, but we'd like to bring some Lebanese food to the wider community," Hassarati says.
Open Tue-Sun 11am-9pm.
74 Yarrara Road, Pennant Hills, 02 9484 9579, byblosgrill.com.au