Join a massive (and cheap) Lebanese birthday party in Sydney's west
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It’s hard to say no to a place where eating with your fingers is not just allowed, but actively encouraged. Because who wants cutlery when you’re ripping apart fresh rounds of Lebanese bread and scooping up smoky baba ghanoush eggplant dip or the fluffy garlic sauce, toum? Al Aseel is always heaving with diners but you rarely have to wait long, and there’s more seating out the back if things get hectic. Everyone and their grandma is here, as though you’ve just walked into a massive Lebanese birthday party. Most tables are buried beneath a spread of share plates – it’s the best way of covering the expansive menu that includes grilled meats, seafood, dips and salad. The chicken breast with lemon garlic sauce ($14) is a house specialty, fat chunks of chicken marinated in a tangy yoghurt sauce. You get three skewers of lamb with the laham mishwee ($12), jammed between onion quarters and roasted until caramelised. Kebbeh nayeh ($12) is the Lebanese version of steak tartare. Here, it’s raw lamb mince mixed with herbs and spices and garnished with olive oil and mint. Get a bowl of fattoush salad ($7) for your greens.