Sydney Road is one of my favorite parts of town, and it’s not hard to guess why… it’s Little Lebanon! well, Little Middle East, really, since it represents the flavors of the entire region from Turkey to Saudi Arabia and everything in between. the family run cafes, green grocers, kebab and pastry shops stretch for miles up Sydney Road, always leaving a reason to come back and try something new.
usually, i head straight to my mainstay halfway up the long street. this time, i stuck with the #19 tram a few stops longer, and ended up at Al-Alamy, just off the northern most side of Sydney Road in Coburg.
a bit of background: the Arab world is a vast and diverse one, differing in language, cultural norms and food. so when you hear your dialect, smell your food… it feels like home, like you belong there even if you’re a stranger in the crowd. since the main Middle Eastern population in Melbourne is Levantine like me (from Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Palestine), i get particularly warm and fuzzy when i head up there. when you’re far away from home, this is a coveted feeling. to say i found this and more at Al-Alamy would be an understatement.
my visit started with the ceremonial cup of
rocket fuel Turkish coffee, made with Al-Alamy’s house-roasted beans… the perfect boost of energy to look through the rest of the store.