Cuisine: Lebanese

Lebanese restaurants on the northern beaches are few and far between, so this charming little eatery stands out like a beacon to peninsula diners craving the garlic, lemon and charcoal flavours of a hot Lebanese grill. The premises have a warm, contemporary feel and the menu presents a huge range of traditional dishes. As suggested by the name, dishes are designed to be shared. The classic Lebanese fish dish samke harrah, marinated grilled snapper fillet $34, is all fresh Mediterranean flavours. Save yourself the effort of choosing with a banquet $35–$55, which will include all manner of dips, fried mezze, salads and shish (skewers of meat). With bellydancing on Friday and Saturday nights, this place can get lively.


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Cuisine: Lebanese,Italian

Breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? Something in between? The Inch ticks all four boxes. Set in a plaza in the centre of Mona Vale, this place seems to have a steady stream of diners all day long. Campos coffee and a ham, feta, tomato and spinach omelette $17 might draw you in for brekky, while our lunchtime pick is spaghetti with prosciutto, pesto and pinenuts $18. As night falls, this mild-mannered eatery  turns into a winebar: Mini Bar. Live music and a brand-emblazoned Mini-Minor car set a mood for this slightly confused combination of spaces, from the cosy, timber-clad bar area to the blander-looking dining room and open-air tables. But the food is good. Extra ticks for the sugar-cured ocean trout $15 and Angus grass-fed sirloin with porcini butter $25.

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