Mesopotamian “Ancient Iraq” and Mediterranean cuisine isn’t something you hear everyday. Tucked on the busy street of Lygon Street in Brunswick sits a new addition to the food scene where you can find exactly just this. The Hanging Gardens has been opened for only a month or so and when you walk past, you definitely can feel the vibe. The interior of the place is absolutely beautiful and transports you to another city.
There’s a selection of cocktails to choose from and each one is a delight and oh so refreshing. There’s one for everyone.
We had a banquet for the night and first up were the cold mezzas which includes salads and dippies.
The dippies here were divine and they included hummus, baba ghanouj and tzaziki. They came with mesopotamian bread and I LOVED EVERYTHING!!!
You need some greens in your life so of course, there were salads. The first salad was the Fattoush which had a range of things including radish, tomato, onion, parsley and pomegranate sauce. Very fresh and very flavoursome.
A well known salad was the tabouli which comprised of mainly parsley, onion and tomato. I was never a fan of tabouli because there was always way too much onions for my liking. This however, had a perfect balance and I LOVED IT!
Guess what came after the cold mezzas? The warm ones of course. There were little coquettes and kubba filled with lamb mince (I think there’s a meaty theme and it was LAMB). Each one had tomato sauce accompanied them which I think they could have replaced with more on the sweeter side in theme with the restaurant.
Falafel, mmm chick peas and spices, who doesn’t know these little balls of flavour. These were smashing-ly awesome sauce and I loved them. I did find them a touch on the dry side though.
Ever tried authentic mesopotamia sausage? I sure haven’t. These were a tad on the salty side but with the fresh salads, it balanced itself out. Clever little things aren’t they?
After the warm mezzas, we were quite full but managed to soldier on and tackled the mains. The first meat to land on the table was the chicken breast skewers. You can’t really go wrong with chicken and this was not dry at all (SCORE!).
The eyes of the lads on the tables lit up when a plate of roasted lamb shank was placed on the table. Yes, the lamb was tender and fell off the shank. Yes, it was very lamb-y. Yes, it was full of flavour. Yes, the rice had an amazing assorted spices. Yes to all if you’re a lamb lover.
Dessert was served. YASSS!! We were lucky enough to try the platter which had fennel cake, turkish delight and baklava. This is the first time I’ve tried fried fennel cake and I quite enjoyed it. I didn’t find it too oily and it was quite sticky from all that sugary syrup on it. The turkish delight was a touch on the harder side than what I preferred and not as sweet as I liked it to be. The baklava was crunchy, crispy, sweet and oh so yummilicious. I quite enjoyed the baklava!
Dessert Platter: Zalebia (fried fennel cake), Rahat lokum (turkish delight), Baklava
Finally, the last thing for the night was the coffee which came out in a lovely looking decanter (very stylish!!). The coffee itself? Well, it’s super duper strong and I needed one sugar cube to sweeten it enough for me to drink. With the sugar, it was MAGNIFICENT! Definitely give this a try. Be warned though, I didn’t go to sleep til 2AM, but then I’m not a regular coffee drinker.
The Hanging Gardens offers a selection of food fromthe Mesopotamian “ancient Iraq” and Mediterranean cuisine in a buzzing atmosphere. The staff are super friendly and helpful and if you’re worried that you won’t get full, The Hanging Gardens will make sure you’ll be rolling out of the door with your pants bursting at the seams.
Disclaimer: I was honoured to be invited to dine by Your Social Chef and The Hanging Gardens and all opinions expressed are my own.