Restaurant Guide

Aalia: Restaurant review

Aalia’s signature waraq simsim could well be Sydney’s most photographed dish.


Aalia's signature waraq simsim could well be Sydney's most photographed dish. Yet, no picture can convey the joy that comes with rolling the finger of uni-topped rice in a whole perilla leaf and popping it in your mouth. It's approachable yet unfamiliar, as delicious as it is refined; a bellwether of Paul Farag's novel and exciting cooking, which channels his Egyptian heritage and broader Levantine traditions. It's easy to get lost in the gold mine that is the menu's mezze section, where deeply spiced eggplant mes 'a' aha and skewered king prawns piped with tarama vie gamely for table space with impossibly tender cuttlefish and couscous tossed through a take on the Tunisian carrot salad, ummak huriyya. When it comes to mains, the endlessly juicy lamb neck shawarma in billowy saj flatbread is still the one to beat. The setting and service match the polish on the plate, completing the package deal at this standard-setter in the making.


Middle Eastern
Shops 7.07-7.08/25 Martin Pl, Sydney
(02) 9182 5880
Chef Paul Farag
Price guide $$
Bookings Recommended
Wheelchair access Yes
Open Lunch Tue-Sat; Dinner Mon-Sat
This review was written independently for the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way. To learn more about the process, head over here.