Nour lights up contemporary Lebanese dining in Sydney
Named for the Arabic word meaning ‘light’, new Surry Hills restaurant Nour gives traditional Lebanese cuisine a contemporary makeover.
The venue flung its doors open earlier this month, with restaurateurs Ibby Moubadder and Eleanor Harris’ executing a vision to re-invigorate Lebanese dining in Sydney.
Moubadder arrived in Australia from Lebanon in 2007, bringing with him his dream of sharing the flavours of the Lebanese-style family feasts he grew up with.
“People think they know what Lebanese food is – fattoush, falafel, baklava – but we want to give them a fresh perspective,” Moubadder says.
“At Nour, we take classic Lebanese flavours and interpret them in new, exciting dishes. We think this is how Sydney-siders will fall in love with Lebanese food. A modern and exciting dining experience, but drawing on the fundamentals that we love about our country’s cuisine.”
The refined menu is designed to share, in the tradition of Lebanese feasting, and has a strong focus on vegetarian dishes and Middle Eastern breads made in-house. Diners can watch traditional breads such as Yemenite pastry, challa and Lebanese pita journey directly from the wood-fired oven to the table. Dips, pickles and preserves, couscous and dairy items including yoghurt, labneh, curds and ashta will also be made in-house.
Dishes on the menu include small plates of Spiced Kingfish Bastirma and Arabic Lamb Tartar along with larger dishes of Wood Roast Spiced Short Rib with roast carrots, nigella seed and toum béarnaise and Snapper with cuttlefish rice, tahini, nuts and leek. Finish on a sweet note with Camel Milk Mouhalabieh, rose water, rhubarb and sumac or Nour’s modern take on traditional favourite, Baklava.
The 120-seat restaurant features an open kitchen overlooking the dining room and a sleek 20-seat bar that wraps around the kitchen, providing front row seats to the action. An intimate private dining room is tucked away from the main dining area and seats 16, while seating out the front on Crown Street and decking at the rear provide spaces for diners to enjoy the outdoors
A combination of natural oak, marble, copper detailing and white concrete have transformed the once dark space that was formerly Tokonoma into a sophisticated, bright and welcoming interior. Nour’s relaxed and soothing colour palette of dusty pinks and salmons makes it a haven from bustling Crown Street, with light pouring in from large metal framed windows.
The bar holds its own with a Middle Eastern-influenced cocktail list including the Spice Road, Beirut Spritzer and Ramman featuring ingredients such as pomegranate seeds, orange blossom water and fig and ginger jam. Nour is open from midday to late, Monday to Saturday.
490 Crown Street, Surry Hills