273 Guildford Rd Guildford, NSW 2161
|Opening hours||Daily 6.30am-4pm|
|Prices||Cheap (mains under $20)|
|Phone||02 9892 1917|
Breakfast was perfected thousands of years ago, somewhere in the Levant, when someone combined olive oil, flour, salt and zaatar and made the first manoush.
Over time, this delicious circle of flatbread was also topped with minced lamb, cheese and vegetables and passed on from generation to generation, forever wearing the crown of breakfast perfection.
Manoush joints dot most busy corners in Sydney's western suburbs, each of them spelling manoush differently (I only spell it the way I do because that's how my Lebanese stepfather spells it and I never want to get on his bad side).
Most of them are still serving the exact same menu from when they were opened in the '80s. Some have barely raised their prices since then either – you'd be hard pressed to find a classic zaatar manoush for more than three bucks.
The sons and daughters (or grandsons and granddaughters) of the original owners are often behind the counter, most of them taking over the business after a lifetime of working there part-time.
Toufic Haddad opened Yum Yum Bakery in Guildford in 1990. His son Najib started working there as a teenager, at weekends and before school.
"When I was growing up, Dad would wake me up at 5am on weekends and force me to go to work with him," Najib says. "I wasn't happy about it back then. Looking back now at how far we've come, I'm grateful he did."
Faced with the challenge of keeping the menu the same or changing it after a recent restaurant refurb, Najib decided to do both. "We added new items to the menu and kept the classics," he says.
"The key has been to keep my parents' original authentic recipes at the base of any new modern idea."
Yum Yum's menu has expanded beyond the original takeaway bakery items, now offering traditional Lebanese breakfast and sit-down service.
Manoush is still the star of the show – especially the awarma (confit lamb) and egg pizza, with specks of sauteed meat and a gloriously runny egg in the middle – but you'll want to come with a group to take advantage of everything else on offer.
After choosing your manoush, order some scrambled eggs with tomato and sujuk (the Lebanese answer to chorizo) and a bowl of garlicky foul – a dish of fava beans with spices.
Follow with top-notch Lebanese staples such as pickles, tabbouleh and baba ghanoush and finish (if you still have the space) with a dessert pizza topped with banana, honey, walnuts and cinnamon – the moreish warm banana and slightly charred walnuts were a surprise highlight of our meal.
Weekend brunch gets busy. Yum Yum's makeover is a hit with the local families who grew up eating here with their parents and now bring their children each weekend. Najib notes that Guildford has changed in the past 30 years.
"Thirty years ago it was very laid-back and more of an older crowd," he says. "Today there's a lot more younger families. The place is more alive. It has a buzz about it."
Go-to Dish: Awarma and egg pizza, $10.