On the Pass with Abla Amad

Abla Amad

Abla Amad

Abla Amad has served tradtional Lebanese food at Abla's in Carlton for the past 37 years. Here, she chats about how she's kept afloat - and sane - across four decades of service.

What's the inspiration behind the food at Abla's?

I cook what I learnt from my family in Lebanon. My mother and her brother taught me. We lived with him when we first moved to Australia, in a house that's on the same street as the restaurant is now.

Do you have a favourite dish?

The two that everyone loves so much are the chicken and rice, and the cabbage roll. For the chicken and rice you cook the meat first, put the rice on top and then add the stock from the chicken. The cabbage rolls are steamed fresh; they're filled with rice, minced lamb and pepper. You roll and roll them and add finely sliced garlic and a little bit of dried mint - it's beautiful.

You've been running Abla's for 37 years; what's the key to keeping a restaurant open, and successful, for so long?

Do everything from your heart and cook better than you do at home. I always do everything myself, with help from a couple of ladies who have both been at the restaurant for over 20 years. We don't serve anything that we prepared the day before. And if something's not perfect it doesn't go out to the table.

And what about the key to a good party, Abla?

Have a lot of finger food at the start and then serve a meal at the table. If you like to drink, have a beer, a whisky or a Lebanese arak.

Abla's, 109 Elgin St, Carlton, Vic, (03) 9347 0006, ablas.com.au


Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
David Chang’s Ugly Delicious is about to make you very hungry
09.02.2018
Lee Tran Lam on her obsession with podcasts
09.02.2018
Australia’s top-ranked cheeses announced
02.02.2018
SBS to screen four top food documentaries in February
30.01.2018
Josh Niland to open a seafood shop in Sydney
29.01.2018
Sydney Fish Market: now delivering
17.12.2017
The Gourmet Traveller podcast

Each fortnight we round up the most interesting characters from the food world for your listening pleasure. We chat to chefs, cooks, authors, bar tenders and baristas - anyone who has something new and interesting to say about the way we like to eat and drink.

Listen
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

From farm to Franklin

In a triumph of paddock-to-plate in practice, Paulette Whitn...

Bird fancying

The real secret to deep-fried chicken.

On The Pass: Kenny McHardy, Manuka Woodfire Kitchen

Kenny McHardy takes us through the latest at Manuka Woodfire...