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The Left Handed Chef

This Israeli restaurant has hummus bowls and giant schnitzel sangas.
By Libby Curran
August 14, 2019
By Libby Curran
August 14, 2019

Things are looking a little different these days at South Melbourne's Left Handed Chef. The former breakfast hotspot has bid farewell to the AM crowd, transforming itself instead into a lunch and dinner destination. It's still chef-owner Ehud Malka at the helm, sharing the warm Israeli hospitality and Middle Eastern flavours of his heritage, only now it's all available until late, Wednesday to Monday.

With its kitsch ornate cutlery and towering grandfather clock, the cosy restaurant space is like a home away from home — and those warm fuzzy feels continue when you learn Malka himself is rolling each falafel to order.

The menus offer a slew of authentic Israeli fare, designed with shared feasts in mind. There's a whole range of hummus bowls (eight different ones) served with traditional pita and topped with the likes of the classic za'tar sprinkle ($14.50), fried cauliflower ($16.50) and the 'basar' blend of lamb, pine nuts and harissa ($17.50).

You'll find daily changing deli salads and loaded pita wraps featuring the likes of Middle Eastern spit-roasted chicken, alongside mammoth sandwiches best split amongst a crew. One features multiple schnitzels in a whole challah loaf with matbucha (a sauce of tomatoes and roasted capsicum), chips, pickles and roast eggplant ($60).

As for those freshly made falafels? They're available to add onto a dish just $1 a pop. And of course, you can round out your feed with something traditionally Israeli and decadently sweet, like classic baklava or some crescent-shaped rugelach pastries.

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