Paul Farag’s Restaurant Aalia Takes You On A Culinary Journey Through The Middle East and North Africa

Chef Paul Farag Credit Jiwon Kim
Angela Silberberg

Lifestyle Writer

Jan 17, 2024

If you’re looking for your next dinner spot in Sydney with that extra wow factor, you can’t pass by Aalia conveniently located on Martin Place as part of the recently renovated MLC centre. Boasting two-hats, Executive chef Paul Farag and his team provide an unmissable opportunity for you to join on a culinary journey through the Middle-East and Northern Africa, sampling dishes you have never tried before.  

With a menu designed for sharing, Aalia is the perfect place for a gathering of any size whether it be an intimate date or a larger group get together. Dine a la carte, or if you’re having trouble deciding between the incredible variety on offer, let Aalia choose for you with their carefully curated banquet menu available for parties of 4 or more. 

We began our evening with the raw Spanner crab, flavoured with an Arabian condiment known as murri. Murri combines a mixture of spices which balanced well with the delicate flavours of the crab and the acidic notes of the accompanying mango amba. Following on was the Kingfish sashimi which provided the table with an incredible burst of colour and packed a flavourful punch. 

AALIA
Aalia Restaurant is in the city centre of Sydney

Aalia’s Menu Is Designed For Sharing

Moving on to the mezze, I was surprised to see Foie Gras on the menu. Like many, I had always believed this delicacy was inextricably French. I was surprised to learn that really, its origins are found in Northern Africa, more specifically Egypt. It is said that geese that were fed along the Nile by its fertile crops started to migrate across the Mediterranean towards France where the French then adopted this delicacy as their own. A must-try on the menu, the Pharoah’s foie gras is like non other, served with pickled grapes, broad beans, fig jam and an assortment of seeds that provide a delightful crunch to compliment this buttery dish. We also enjoyed the bone marrow with chermoula served on fresh bread and were blown away by the smoky flavours of the grilled cuttlefish with couscous. 

The dry aged duck that we enjoyed as our main dish for the night was truly unforgettable and I will certainly be returning for seconds. Perfectly seared on the outside with a delicate pink hue right through, this dish is not to be missed! The duck was served with a brilliant fesenjan sauce which is made from stewing pomegranate seeds and provided sweet and acidic flavours that paired perfectly with the richness of the meat.

Although by this point we could certainly have called it a night, we could not help ourselves from selecting a sweet treat. We opted to share a Turmeric sfouf served with carrot ice cream and mace. This dessert was refreshing and light, exactly what we needed after our indulgent feast.

You can book your dining experience at Aalia here: https://www.aaliarestaurant.com/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

By Angela Silberberg

Lifestyle Writer

Angela Silberberg is a lifestyle writer for The Carousel and Women Love Tech. She also shares her recipes on TikTok. You can follow her on her TikTok here: https://www.tiktok.com/@bibibitez

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