the prophet – victoria park
The Prophet is one of the worst kept secrets in Perth. It’s really hard to get a dinner booking at short notice so the next best choice (if you are in the area or lucky enough to be not working) is to rock up for lunch. We arrive a few minutes after opening time and the cafe is already half full. Not even in sedate Perth, is a drive by shooting enough to keep the people away from the lebanese cuisine! Dullsville? Hah!
It’s not my first time at the Prophet and have to admit, I now like it best for lunch. At night, it can very loud and stuffy in the small restaurant, but during the day, the Prophet is laidback and unpretentious – it’s all about the food.
The owner’s son has recently taken over the cooking duties in the Prophet’s tiny kitchen and there are some subtle differences. Instead of just one menu available – which previously made ordering for lunch somewhat difficult, choosing between full blown mains or trusty kebabs – there is now a lunch menu. For $16, patrons can have a main (falafel, kibbeh, shish tawook etc), a choice of hummus or baba ghanouj and tabouli. The new menu gives diners a fair sample of the menu and also a balanced meal (hmm I’m getting hungry typing this up…).
A basket of flat bread, pickles and garlicky dip is served straight away. I love wrapping the pliable, barely scorched flat bread around the crunchy sharp pickle and viciously pungent garlic. Our orders are taken swiftly and surprisingly the food arrives quickly too.
The falafel, I am relieved to say, is still amongst the best in Perth. Crunchy and golden on the outside, fluffy and moist on the inside. Here the falafel is a treat (definitely better than the soggy who-knows-how-old falafel in kebab shops). Freshly made and shaped by hand into ovals of chickpea paradise, they are a must-eat at the Prophet. A pool of oil sits on the smokey baba ghanousj, providing a tasty lubricant for the meal. The tabouli is slightly fibrous, with the strong chlorophyll taste of parsley being a bitter respite from the richness of the plate.
My lunch companions had the shish kebab (lamb) and the shish tawook (grilled marinated chicken) and both had rave reviews. Looking around, it seemed all the customers were very satisfied with their meals, quietly savouring the delicious food. With the requisite table of old guys out the front, observing the traffic zipping past, the Prophet is very much unaffected. Judging from the number of staff and prep work in the kitchen (and happy customers), I’m very happy to say that the Prophet is still very much alive and kicking.
Up’s: Must. Eat. Falafel. Quick friendly service. Great halal lebanese food, something a bit different and good quality.
Down’s: The restaurant can be noisy at night. Decor could be improved but heck we can’t have everything.
The Prophet, 907a Albany Highway, East Victoria Park WA 6101
T: (08) 9361 1101
Lunch Monday – Friday noon – 3pm
Dinner 7 days 6 – late
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