The Left Handed Chef – The Overview…
Longstanding South Melbourne cafe The Left Handed Chef is now putting their trademark Israeli food on your dinner plates too!
Food: Roasted Cauliflower, Haloumi Mini Skewers, Shipudim Al Haesh (Skewers on the grill), Shawarma Hummus Bowl
We’re long-time fans of Ehud, The Left Handed Chef’s South Melbourne cafe. Our only regret is we live a bit too far away to get their for brunch as often as we’d like, so as soon as we heard that dinner was now on the menu we were straight down their to check it out. After a successful run of one-off dinner parties last year showcasing his excellent Israeli food, Ehud has now decided to make it a permanent fixture on Thursday and Friday evenings. Still in its early days, the menu is small – but that’s not a problem because every single thing on it is delicious.
Everyone who visits The Left Handed Chef is welcomed like an old friend, and it’s a popular choice with solo diners for this very reason (along with being so affordable). Their Shook (Market) Eats dinner menu is focused on simple, homely Israeli eats and it caters for meat eaters and vegetarians equally well. Restraining ourselves from ordering the whole menu we started with the roasted cauliflower florets and haloumi mini skewers. The nutty, roasted cauliflower presented in bite-sized pieces dressed with beautiful tahini sauce was a delicious way to show off the best of middle eastern cuisine and a great start to our dinner.
The halloumi skewers are an instant win! I mean can you really go wrong with halloumi anyway? The crispy coated cheese and balsamic are a fab sweet salty combo. The watermelon salad on the side is refreshing and while it tips the balance towards a more sweet dish than you would typically expect, the flavours work really well together.
We tried one of each of The Left Handed Chef’s skewers with the beautifully seasoned chicken being our favourite. The lamb is very traditional, rich and meaty, while the salmon has a nice spicy kick to it. Each skewer is quite large, but if you’re enjoying this as your only main, you’re probably going to want to go for two skewers. No matter what you choice, we’d definitely opt to add some of their delicious falafel on the side – possibly the best falafel in Melbourne.
Finally we shared the Shawarma hummus bowl. At $14, it is by far the most affordable dish of its kind. The beautiful hummus is topped with yummy, flavourful slow cooked chicken from the spit and this dish absolutely highlights Israeli food at its finest. If you’re only going to try one dish at The Left Handed Chef, this is the one to go for. (Or a non-chicken version if you’re not a meat eater). Overall, there’s lots of versatility on the menu, We enjoyed a huge sharing feast but dishes will also suit as an individual main, or you can choose something smaller for a quick eat. There’s even traditional drinks on the menu. We tried the Israeli iced lemonade which has a sharp tangy flavour, cooled down with the fresh mint, but you could try an iced tea, coffee or fresh watermelon juice. There’s also a BYO license so grab a beer and bring it with you if you’d prefer!
Address: 2/219 Park Street, South Melbourne
Mon 7:30am to 3:30pm
Wed 7:30am to 3:30pm
Thu 7:30am to 3:30pm and 6pm to 9pm
Fri 7:30am to 3:30pm and 6pm to 9pm
Sat 8:30am to 3pm
Sun 8:30am to 3pm
Parking: We easily found a spot just a couple of minutes walk away on a nearby side street.
Getting here on PT: Both the 1 and 12 trams stop about a minutes walk away, alight at the junction of Park and Clarendon Street.