Recently, we were invited to try out Manoosh Pizzeria, a Lebanese pizza joint with locations in both Enmore and Marrickville. We made the easy eight-minute walk from Newtown Station and, upon approaching the shop, were greeted with the smell of fresh pizza and zaatar.
Manoosh has plenty of seating, both on the sidewalk and in an adjoining section, which has been decorated with a huge, amusing mural. The door on the left leads to a back-end section that joins the two sides of the shop, allowing staff to crossover without having to walk onto the sidewalk.
We actually visited Manoosh two years ago and the one menu item we remembered was the Vegan Garlic Bread. It’s basically Lebanese bread sprinkled with oregano, toasted then spread with Manoosh’s in-house garlic sauce.
This combination of garlic sauce and oregano gave this garlic bread a sweet and citrusy flavour, thanks to the lemon juice in it. The toasting warmed the bread just enough and left the outside crispy. Best of all, it’s vegan!
Next, we got a taster of the Triple Cheesy Balls. These lightly fried balls were served with their labne dip, a type of strained yoghurt cheese dip. The balls had a blend of mozzarella, parmesan and cream cheese encased in crumbed potato dough. The combination of layers of cheese and potato meant these were heavy and very rich! Dipping them in the labne dip made them twice so. That being said, I loved how stretchy the cheese was.
This was a combination of our host’s recommendation; Kebbeh, Pumpkin Kebbeh and Sambousik with Garlic Dip.
The Kebbeh (darkest) had some very strong spices in it and, according to their website, the spice mix varies from family to family so the spices here remain a secret. Kebbeh is a mixture of burghul and is actually traditionally eaten raw (I’m glad they cooked it here, though).
Funnily enough, the Sambousik reminded us of Serbian food, being a pastry filled with lamb mince, onion and pine nuts. It amounts to our understanding of Serbian food: lots of meat and dough. The mince in the Sambousik was not as well-spiced as the Kebbeh, however we recommend you try both.
The Pumpkin Kebbeh was the vegan option and what an option it is! It’s filled with chickpea, spinach, onion and encased in a mixture of burghul and pumpkin. It had a very clean and sweet flavour compared to the meat options.
We were looking forward to one of Manoosh’s vegan wraps: the Zaatar with Falafel Wrap as we usually get the zaatar with veggies from other Lebanese places. The falafel was soft and fluffy while the capsicum and onion added extra crunch. The wrap was augmented with Lebanese staple ingredients: olives, tomato and tahini.
For pizza, we were recommended the Manoosh Special. Just by reading the menu, we knew this was going to be a sight to behold. The pizza has cheese, mushroom, capsicum, onion, fresh tomato, olives, haloumi, feta, oregano and garlic on a zaatar base. If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it was.
All the toppings come together to form one of the heaviest pizzas I’ve ever had. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious. In fact, it feels like it would be the best thing in the world with a few beers but at that sober stage, it felt like freight train hitting our stomach.
To top it all off, we tried Manoosh’s vegan dessert: the Peanut Butter Fudge Pie, consisting of peanut butter, banana and melted chocolate fudge wrapped in puff pastry. The peanut butter gave a good measure of saltiness while the banana and chocolate fudge gave just the right amount of sweetness. The pastry itself was quite heavy and had only a few layers to it. Nevertheless, this was a hit with my girlfriend (sweet pastries are the way to her heart).
We had a great time at Manoosh and could see how this food would be amazing after a few drinks; heavy, oily and salty. We loved the vegan options on the menu, each one of which was unique in their own way and added something more to the menu that just being a stand in for the veggo option. If you’re around the area and you’re in the mood for some gutsy food, be sure to stop by Manoosh.