Lebanon via Tuscany
From the outside it looks like any other buzzing, slightly up-market Middle Eastern restaurants in Bankstown. But in this case, it may look like a duck, it may quack like a duck, but in fact, it’s umm… half a duck?
Heck, lets serve up Lebanese and Italian!
Titanic Cafe is huge, not deep but long which means most tables aren’t too far from their large windows. The entrance is in the middle and you face a long bar area, to the left is the hookah smoking section (looks like a duck so far), but then turn to the right and you’ll see an imposing wood-fire pizza oven to the far end.
This place takes multicultural melting pot to the next level, here Italy meets the Middle East and the locals seem to be lapping it up. Noodlies, Sydney food blog speculates that the Lebanese-Australian owner has a thing for pizzas and one day thought “heck, lets serve up Lebanese and Italian”.
You’ll find the usual Middle Eastern standards on the menu, kibi, crunchy fatoush and shawarma. Noodlies really likes the chicken shawarma, it’s a colourful and pretty thing to behold; tender, well-cooked chicken pieces buried under a layer of finely sliced onion and shredded parsley. It’s served on a large, colourful plate with pickles, tomatoes, olives and toum. Of course, flat bread is complimentary.
This vegetarian pizza looks hot-to-trot; piled high with sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke, roasted capsicum and gooey fetta on a substantial thick, wet crust.
But this is a quacking duck with a twist.
Italian actually makes up most of Titanic Cafe’s menu including pasta, risotto and 24 wood-fired pizzas to choose from; margarita to gourmet Mediterranean. It would be wrong not to order the gourmet Mediterranean. This vegetarian pizza looks hot-to-trot; piled high with sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke, roasted capsicum and gooey fetta on a substantial thick, wet crust.
A gigantic tub of Nutella sits by the wood-fire pizza oven for a reason – it’s a hugely popular dessert here. There are two versions, Nutella will get you a spread of that delicious brown paste sprinkled with icing sugar. Go Nutella Deluxe (below) and a you’re rewarded with a kaleidoscope of colour and taste thanks to the addition of fresh strawberries and cream.
So, is Titanic Cafe Middle Eastern-Italian or Italian-Middle Eastern? Who cares? Just surrender to this multicultural melting pot experience because it’s pretty and it’s delicious.
Oh, and long live the Nutella Deluxe!
49 Raymond Street, Bankstown
(02) 9708 3688