The Eate – Dulwich Hill

I must start this blog post with a little bit of a disclaimer: I get really, weirdly friggin’ passionate about anything to do with meat. If you know how to BBQ like a boss, then say no more…my heart is yours. It might have something to do with the fact that growing up in a Middle Eastern family, charcoal was always the preferred method of cooking/heating/doing anything really (legit we didn’t have a microwave in my house until I was 15). Or that I’d never eat packaged baby food like a normal child but would insist on hacking away at a chicken drumstick instead…also, I’m pretty sure my first word was ‘kebab’. Anyhow, I digress. We were lucky enough to be invited down to The Eate, a restaurant that describes themselves as specialising in anything “on the spit and off the grill”…I’m sure you can all guess how quickly I put on my stretchiest pair of pants and ran down there like my life depended on it?! Since Chez was busy being an adult and working on a Thursday at lunch time, I hollered at one of my most trusty fellow over-eating friends to come along (who mind you, has biceps the size of my head & had just finished a 3 hour gym session…AKA he’s hungry, meaning we can order more off the menu meaning I can try EVERYTHING meaning YASSSSSSSS).

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Pan Fried Haloumi ($9)

Our feast and a half started with this golden & super lush looking haloumi, pan fried with honey, thyme and lemon. DED. DED. DED. I have no other words to describe this haloumi other than DED. For anyone not familiar with our ridiculous vocabulary, this basically means “so good I could die”. The sweetness of the honey combined with the tang of the lemon and the comfort of the olive oil was just a dream. My fellow over-eater and I don’t agree on much when it comes to food (except that donuts are king), but we miraculously mutually agreed that this was hands down, the BEST HALOUMI WE’D EVERRRRR HAD!!

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Spiced eggplant chips with pomegranate, mint & parsley ($10)

These eggplant chips seriously rocked my socks. Pomegranate molasses (which was drizzled over the chips) is undeniably one of my most favourite things in the world. These were crunchy on the outside, soft and squishy on the inside, sweet, salty, sour and just a damn good time. My buddy typically isn’t an eggplant eater (which totally baffles me, but that’s besides the point) and even he kept reaching for this plate to pick at the fries. I highly recommend adding this dish to your meal if you pop down to visit this hidden gem of a restaurant. The sourness, saltiness and sweetness that are so subtly combined into one plate balance the heavy nature and saltiness of the other foods you will inevitably inhale like the meats, breads, yiros and/or burgers.

What was about to happen next though….neither of us were quite prepared for emotionally, physically or spiritually. Some nek level lamb overdose landed on our table and we looked at each other with faces of severe concern/confusion/excitement/challenge acceptibidado.

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Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder – 200 grams ($17.50)

This lamb was OUTSTANDING! Flavoursome, juicy, tender and served with pickled vegetables, tzatziki, fresh herbs, lemon dressing , Lebanese bread on the side (not pictured) and cooked to pure perfection. This is one of those taste-bud tantalising plates of food that just leaves you wanting more and asking how something so delicious can’t be bad for you!

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Pulled Lamb – 200 grams ($17.50)

Whilst I preferred the slow cooked lamb, this pulled lamb was still a big hit. If we had to nitpick, the only difference was that it felt heavier and just ever so slightly more oily than the first.

Thankfully, we had some beautiful salads to accompany our meat boards…because #fitspo and #cleanliving. Who are we kidding…we were just two ethnic kids who saw taboulli and lost our marbles! These babies were fresh, yummy AF, palette-cleansing and friggin’ on point in terms of the salad to dressing ratio. Big ticks all round!

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Medium salad ($8)

And then, just when we thought it was all over….half a charcoal chicken landed on our table and our bodies immediately broke out into off the Richter meat sweats.

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Half chicken ($9.50)

It was at this point in the meal, probably about an hour and twenty minutes into us sitting down, that the food coma was a bit too real. Vision was blurry and eyes were struggling to stay open but anyone who knows us knows that we’re not quitters…so we soldiered on. The seasoning of this chicken was beautiful, subtly flavoured and allowed you to choose how much garlic sauce you wanted to pair it with (personally, I would moisturise and brush my teeth with the stuff if I could). What stood out the most though, was how juicy all pieces of the chicken were…no dry breasts here (….ew, but you get what I mean).

I cannot tell you how impressive the food, service and general vibe of The Eate is. For someone who is a bit of a self-confessed meat snob, I was seriously blown away by this ‘fast-food’ place. It is oh so obvious how much pride, passion and love goes into each and every dish on their menu so it is an easy ‘must-visit’, even if you don’t live locally….but especially if you do.

xx A.

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