All aboard the Mezza Train
Sydneysiders know a thing or two about sushi trains. With colour-coded dishes and conveyor belts filled with tasty, bite-sized goodies, really what’s not to love? But a Lebanese-style train, well that’s a First Class surprise. Opening late 2015, Mascot‘s Mezza Train is the first of its kind in Australia and perhaps even the world. And its celebration of morsel-sized Lebanese food is, simply put, a runaway express to delishville.
To the lively sounds of Lebanese music, diners can choose to take a seat a short reach away from the train of food at the high bar, or relax at a table in the main dining area of the restaurant. But where’s the fun in that? We were there for the grab and eat mezza, so high bar it was. And what chugged past was a surprising assortment of fodder.
With complimentary flatbread in hand we were ready to lift the lid on our first plate. The hommus ($4) was wonderfully smooth. A classic, no-frills version of the dip, it was served drizzled with olive oil and garnished with whole chickpeas. Quite creamy, it went quite nicely with the fresh tabouli ($5.50).
Up next was shanklish ($5.50). Topped with chopped tomatoes and onions, this matured cheese dish was full of texture and flavour. A definite highlight of the meal.
Also making an appearance on the locomotive loop was vegetarian wara enab ($5.50). Delicately flavoured, these hit the spot. Vine leaf-wrapped bundles of joy filled with rice, tomato, parsley, they were wonderfully balanced by the acidity of lemon juice and yoghurt accompaniment.
The Mezza Train also offers diners plenty of hot, à la carte beef, chicken and lamb options, fresh from kitchen’s rotisserie. These are dishes that might get cold, dry out or droop from condensation on a loop of the conveyor belt. The shish tawouk (chicken skewers) ($6.50) were tender and moist, and served with a tasty side of toum (garlic sauce).
The laham mishwee (lamb skewer) ($6.50) were hot and moreish. And worked quite well dipped in hommus, dabbed with tabouli and wrapped in flatbread.
However the shish kebabs (beef skewer) ($6.50) were a little dry and tough.
Capping off the night was the knafeh ($5.00). Melted cheese topped with semolina and orange blossom syrup, it really is a happy medium for when you can’t decide between something sweet or savoury.
Pulling out all the stops, Mezza Train is just the ticket for a fast, fresh and fun food outing. Yes, it’s a novelty concept but don’t let that undersell the food- it’s actually really good. Located right near Sydney Airport it is a little out of the way for some and you’ll no doubt pass a number of great Lebanese restaurants before you arrive at Mezza Train. But keep it in mind next time you hop off a plane and need a quick, heartening meal.
Corner of High and O’Riordan Street, Mascot
Phone: 02 8317 6312
Open: Tues – Sun 12 -3pm, 6pm to 10pm
For further information, please visit mezzatrain.com.au