04 November 2010

Rowda Ya Habibi ~ Lebanese - Newtown

Rowda Ya Habibi is a low key gem of a Lebanese joint in Newtown.

I've been walking past Rowda Ya Habibi for fifteen years and never stepped inside. I have no idea why, it looks right up my alley: it's low rent, family run, and aging. I guess I thought it was just another average kebab joint.

And for the last few months I've walked past Rowda Ya Habibi every single day as I pick up Miss Chicken from school, and every day I drooled at the Lebanese date slice on the counter, but I never stepped inside, the thought just never entered my empty head. Then I read Miss Piggy's great Rowda Ya Habibi post and a cartoon lightbulb appeared above my head. Ding!

Ever since I've been obsessed with the place, I've dropped in for sweeties a couple of times and chatted with boss lady. I can't believe I've had this gem on my doorstep all this time..

Tonight we drop in for a "too lazy to cook but need something healthy" type dinner. The lady that runs the place is just wonderful, an instant favourite auntie. She tells us Rowda Ya Habibi has been running for thirty three years, and she hasn't had a night off in eleven years, not one. A conga line of regulars pour in while we eat, they just love the boss lady to bits, there's hugs and kisses, "how's the kids?" and even medical advice.

As Missy Piggy pointed out, Rowda Ya Habibi is a great alternative to Sababa, which is also great but a bit corporate these days, Rowda Ya Habibi is much more "Newtown", if there is such a thing.

Takeway menu - $5.50 for vegetarian rolls and $6.50 for meat rolls, great value.

Snackies, sweeties and meat master.

Fried cauliflower.

Cauliflower Roll - $5.50. Packed with veggies plus hommous and chili. It's rare to find takeway food that's cheap AND healthy AND freaking delicious.

Vine leaf rolls.

More joy...

I'll be back for those green beans...

Kebbe - mince and burga wheat. Drool.

Lady fingers - Lebanese sausage rolls.

Lady finger innards.


Spinach rolls.

The sweeties here are fantastic. I've been popping in a lot for the date slice - $2.50.

Kofte roll - meat and three veg. And bread.

Rowday Ya-Habibi is at 101 King Street, Newtown. We stuck to the takeaway type options but they also do full menu dining.

Rowda Ya Habibi on Urbanspoon

Awning party on King Street Newtown. I got a wave but not an invite...

Heaven is a warm car bonnett... Sorry, we just can't help the pussycat photos...


  1. Your photos are really wonderful! I think I need to come & get some lessons off you as all of the food looks so inviting! How was the cauliflower roll? I'm not a fan of the old cauliflower, but if anyone can make me want to eat it it's Mrs Rowda Ya Habbibi!

  2. Thanks Melba, the cauliflower roll was good, though the meaty roll was more flavoursome though.

  3. I've only ever had the $5 tubs of Turk Delight here & am yet to try the food. Time to pull out my lady finger

  4. Did you say $5 tubs of Turkish Delight? I'm heading up there right now...

  5. Rowda's has been so reliable for goodness since at least 1984... falafel roll with slice of roasted eggplant, and all the usual extras...
    &*%$ heaven!

  6. A mixed plate from here has to be one of the cheapest and yummiest eats in Sydney. Can easily fill 2 hungry bellies.

  7. We've had a big craving for this lately and will be heading back soon. Until Sabbaba at Newtown puts Jerusalem Mix on the menu I'm not going back.

  8. Sabbaba completely spanks Ya Habibi. Way better falafels.


Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it :-)

Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (though sometimes Mum shouts us).