Awash with sorbet shades and delicate metallic flashes, contemporary Lebanese restaurant, Nour, in Sydney’s Surry Hills, literally sets the tone for a palate refresh. The combination of its assured minimal geometry accented by soft furnishings in rosewater and pomegranate pink, apricot and lilac eschews any preconceived expectations diners may have about Middle Eastern cuisine.
‘People think they know Lebanese food - fattoush, falafel, baklava - but we want to give them a fresh perspective,’ enthuses co-owner Ibby Moubadder. The menu represents an amalgam of cultures and cooking techniques with a sophisticated lightness of touch thanks to the talents of Palestinian and Israeli chefs with combined experience in London, Tel Aviv and Sydney restaurants.
Dishes shift from lamb tartar with quail eggs and pickled okra plus pumpkin and labneh cocooned within dumplings bathed in warm yoghurt to heartier mains such as wood roasted short ribs with charred carrots, nigella seeds and toum béarnaise. Spices, grains and nuts only hint at each plate’s provenance including sumac, harissa, za’atar, cumin, pistachio and freekeh.
No detail is unrefined, including the fit-out. Interior design firm DS17’s custom-built circular wall hangings floating around the 120-seater comprise pastel-flecked terrazzo braced within copper frames, complimenting the assorted oak and powder-coated Billiani chairs and stools upholstered in matching tones. Soft pendant and wall lighting adds the final sheen.