NT

Qantas - - QUISINE - SAM McCUE

DAMASQUINO

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

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