We spend a weekend in Arncliffe, eating amazing Lebanese food and walking it off again.
Arncliffe is a quiet little suburban enclave just off the Princes Highway, between Tempe and Rockdale. It has become one of our favourite destinations for Lebanese food being a stone's throw from our neck of the woods in Newtown.
There's a warm, community vibe here. Sitting outside a Lebanese bakery or Hijazi's Felafel on a sunny day watching the world go quietly by is bliss.
The main food options are found around the train station and also spread out along Wollongong Road. We start at the top of Wollongong Road, where it meets Forest Road, and work our way back down to the station.
Fatima Baydoun Bakery / Sara Bakery & Sweets is in the first little clump of shops along Wollongong Road. We've walked here from Newtown so please excuse us while we sit down for a pizza and a drink. We go for the 'meat' pizza - $5 - minced beef with tomato and a curious blend of spices that keeps us guessing, it tastes of nutmeg, so fresh, so simple, so delicious.
A couple of doors down we see this lovely pair of parrots hanging out in the Kuwait Video shop. Being movie nerds we're happy to see the VHS Video (they're like square DVDs kids) still going strong.
Further down the road, past lovely 1920's era houses and colouful corner shops is Said Pastry Lebanese sweets, an Aladdins cave of sugar.
There's gift packs ready to go or pick'n'mix is charged by weight. This plateful was $9.
Arncliffe Bakery is further down on the same side of Wollongong Road.
Here's our spread from a previous visit...
Down past the RSL and the park is another clump of shops with one our favourite joints in Sydney...
Hijazi's Falafel... Every meal we've had here has blown our little minds, it's so fresh and such amazing value, even though it looks like a regular kebab shop on first glance.
Today we stop for badly photographed rolls. The 'meat' roll at the top is incredible - big hunks of tender beef, with a few slithers of tomato and onion, and a tahini based sauce. At only $6 it felt like stealing. The veggie roll is also amazing, and so healthy - beautifully cooked cauliflower and eggplant, fresh radish, tomato and parsley. $5. Alison proclaimed it the best veggie kebab she has ever eaten (though we are yet eat our way through Lebanon).
Compilation of previous feeds at Hijiazi's - part 1.
Compilation of previous feeds at Hijiazi's - part2.
Further down the road is the Peace Bakery, you may have seen their Lebanese Bread in your local supermarket. There's also a small grocer\deli in the front.
We return the following day to check out the food around the station. It's a quiet spot with a constant trickle of locals out for lunch and supplies.
We're unsure of the English name of this Lebanese Bakery next to the trainstation, we'll just call it Pizza.
Lebanese pizza with haloumi cheese, olives and tomatoes (what a hangover cure!). Another excellent meat pizza, both around $5.
The ladies are making up the meat mixture as we are ordering, they have a huge bowl of minced beef, tomatoes and some egg for binding. We ask them what the mystery spice is that makes the meat pizza so delicious, is it nutmeg? They give us a sniff and explain that it's a mixture of around 12 different spices. Yum.
We find one more bakery on the top of the hill near the bottle shop, but there's no more room in our tums. We'll be back...