One of our monthly dinners took us to Ballaboosta at 289 Halifax St (just off Hutt St) in Adelaide. We were excited to try this place on a recommendation by a good friend of Lebanese background. Ballaboosta means "the perfect housewife, wonderful mother, gracious cook and host" in Yiddish. So it's not surprising that you instantly get a warm vibe from this cosy little place with waves of family friendly hospitality.
Many of the dishes are for sharing and that's what we all decided on and boy did we have a feast! We started on the Mezze Dips consisting of Hommus, Baba Ghanouj, Labeneh and Zaatar. All the dips were Vegetarian and had plenty of traditional Lebanese flavours. While all of the dips were delicious our favourite was the Baba Ghanouj with its smokey char-grilled and garlic roasted infused eggplant. It had the wow factor. The pita bread was fresh and warm straight out of the oven. Just simply divine!
The Zaatar Pizza has a blend of wild thyme, sesame seeds and sumac infused with premium extra virgin olive oil. Our Arabic Tempting Palates member loved it and assured us that this was a very traditional dish.
Fattoush Salad is a very traditional Lebanese dish consisting of Romaine Hearts, tossed with cucumber, cherry tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, sumac, extra virgin olive oil and toasted pita crisps. The sourness of the sumac and the crispy pita makes this salad unlike any other. The different elements mad this salad interesting and full of fresh flavours.
The Grilled Haloumi served with cherry tomatoes and rocket had a lovely crispy outer and cooked perfectly.
Sambousik are pastry pockets filled with seasoned beef mince and toasted pine nuts and served with hommus and wood fired pita bread. These tasty little pastry pockets were tasty and full of distinct Lebanese flavour.
Flembeed Sausages are cocktail spiced lamb sausages flambeed in a wood fired oven and then sauteed with fresh lemon juice and love oil. The sausage had a very distinct lamb flavour and the subtle spices were not too overpowering. We loved the lemon and olive oil juice and couldn't help but scoop those juices with fresh pita bread.
The Feta and Spinach Triangles were similar to the Greek Spanakopitas but instead of filo pastry these had more resemblance to a thicker puff pastry texture.
Pizza is always a favourite with everyone so we ordered two pizzas the Pepperoni and the Wild Mushroom. Both were tasty and the pizza base was soft yet firm enough for the ingredients to remain intact.
The Wood Fire Warm Chicken Salad consisted of chicken strips, seasonal greens, tomatoes, Spanish onions along with a homemade dressing. The chicken was tender and well cooked. The salad had fresh flavours and was a generous serving. The pita bread was again amazing!
Lastly for desserts we had the Baklava, Creme Caramel and the Knefeh. The baklava was a little to drier than we are used to which made it harder to chew.
The Creme Caramel was not too sweet and had a smooth texture.
Our favourite dessert was the Knefeh with crushed pistachios and a lovely rosewater syrup. The warm custard centre was deliciously creamy and this dessert finished off our Lebanese feast perfectly.
Our Ballaboosta experience was a casual yet relaxing experience. The food was homely and flavoursome, the hospitality was warm and friendly and the service was attentive and professional. We loved it here and it was hard to fault and the group consensus was that we want to go back and try more of the menu.
Rating 8.5 (VP) Very Palatable