Eating out every night rarely gives me the opportunity to switch on the television. I felt slightly embarrassed when I met Rose from Masterchef fame and failed to recognise her. Even more embarrassing, I got her mixed up with her sister, with whom I met the previous week.
The Middle Store is a quaint little cafe located on Winston Avenue in Melrose Park. They specialise in healthy Middle Eastern/Lebanese food with all ingredients sourced locally. The menu is simple, as is the decor, with a small selection of food offerings to choose from.
Today, I started off with the Lamb Kofta Burger. The first thing you notice when you bite into the burger is the freshness of the ingredients. The lamb patty is thinner than a typical burger but was very well seasoned. The hummus was smooth with a thick consistency, while the pickled cabbage added depth by being tangy. The vegetables were fresh and crisp, while the bread tasted like it was fresh out of the oven.
Next was the Zattar Man’oushe with Roast Vegetables. The Lebanese flat bread was firm and well spiced. Folded in between were generous portions of soft roasted vegetables that were naturally sweet. This was well balanced by a spread that reminded me of a thick garlic sauce. Simple and delicious!
For dessert, I had the Pancakes with Strawberries, Kiwi Fruit and Maple Syrup. The pancakes were soft and delicate, and thicker than you would get elsewhere. The strawberries and kiwi fruit provided natural sweetness and were further complimented by the maple syrup.
The staff were really friendly, and the service was fast and efficient. The atmosphere was relaxed and the pricing is more than reasonable. The most expensive item on the menu is $8.50 which is almost unheard of. Even more surprising, the food is healthy and delicious.
The Middle Store is a hidden gem in the southern suburbs. I don’t know why I didn’t visit this place sooner!
WHERE: 118 Winston Ave, Melrose Park