I NEED to apologise to God.
My family and I were so full after dinner at Shesh Besh on Shrove Tuesday, we had no room left for pancakes.
My young kids weren’t happy and said the big man would strike us down with lightning.
See you in purgatory, folks.
Situated just up from the Leederville cafe strip on Oxford Street, Shesh Besh is a casual Middle Eastern restaurant that lets its food do the talking – mezza, dips, salads and mains like Kafta, Lahem Mishwee and Shawarma Chicken.
Perhaps the best option for newbies is the Chef’s Table ($35 per head/minimum two people) which includes a mouth-watering selection from all areas of the menu. The couple sitting beside us ordered the Chef’s Table, and as I waited for my meal I couldn’t resist peering and semi-drooling at their feast, prompting strange looks and glances.
Shesh’s dining room had plush dark green leather chairs, wooden tables with conspicuous metal studs, and a stone feature wall.
There was a slight air of the Ottoman Empire, but it wasn’t overblown or twee and created a nice atmosphere with the added bonus of the chairs being very comfortable.
Let’s get this out the way – the portions at Shesh Besh are humungous.
Don’t snack before you go there.
My plate was overflowing with chargrilled chicken cubes, colourful salad, thin slices of Turkish bread, toum, pickles and fragrant rice (Shish Tawook $26).
The tender chicken breast was delicious and had been marinated in garlic, lemon and spices, giving it a deep complex flavour.
I really enjoyed the fresh salad which was teeming with tomatoes, onions and pickles.
It was enhanced by a liberal sprinkle of coriander, and tasted as good as it looked.
Rounding things off was a generous dollop of hummus and toum, a thick Lebanese sauce with a pungent garlic kick.
I hadn’t tried toum before, but it helped jump-start the palate and went perfectly with the ultra-thin bread.
This dish was the real deal and reminded me of being a young lad on holiday, eating at Mediterranean tavernas with my mum and dad.
There wasn’t a kids menu but the waitress was accommodating and asked the chef to slice the Shawarma Chicken Wrap ($18) into four, so our children could share it.
I’m glad I only ordered one as the serve was huge and it came with chips and a mound of colourful salad.
The dish wasn’t too spicy for my young kids and they devoured their meal with glee.
Across the table my wife was enjoying her Falafel wrap and chips ($16), which came with a mini salad.
“The best Middle Eastern food I’ve had in ages – crammed with flavour and top quality ingredients.”
There was also a range of Turkish coffees, desserts and soft drinks, but we were well and truly stuffed and waddled outside to face God’s wrath.
209 Oxford Street, Leederville
by STEPHEN POLLOCK