2/57 Marina Boulevard, Larrakeyah (08) 7981 5278 damasquino.com.au Open Saturday-Sunday for lunch and Tuesday-Sunday for dinner
The brick wall and floral decorations at Damasquino are faux but pretty much everything else in this tiny new restaurant is straightfrom-the-heart real. The menu promises “traditional Syrian food… proudly homemade by the family’s mom” – and there she is, flitting betwixt kitchen and diners, quietly assessing that this group needs help ordering and that foursome might want a side table for their BYO wine. Linger over the food decisions and she’ll offer to choose for you. Then watch the table fill with dips, crisp pita shards, spicy lamb pastries, pillowy filo laden with fragrant rice, cracked-wheat kibbeh and standout skewers of chicken shish seasoned so precisely that it tastes not of salt but only of itself. Sumac-dusted fattoush and lemony, minty cabbage salad complete the feast – unless you feel like a pastry or two. Perhaps the maamool stuffed with dates and nuts, the baklava or the carrot balls with sugar and coconut? We say yes.
Ortiz anchovy soldiers at SeaSalt (below); Canberra’s Highroad by Ona Coffee