Ten minutes from my Inner West stomping ground, Burwood Road, Belmore offers up a multicultural melange of cuisines including Korean, Chinese and at least five multicultural bakeries. Owner of the Belmore Lebanese Bakery, Eddie Zanbaka tells me: “I am the oldest and probably the most established” of the lot.
During my brunch he has a steady stream of regular customers popping by for bags of cross-stamped Holy Bread (Qurban) ($5/5).
The rhythm of Eddie’s life flows around the feast days and celebrations that bind his local community together.
“I’ve just had 500 of these get picked up this morning,” he explains over a well-made Segafredo Flat White ($3) and Latte ($3). The Holy Bread is great with coffee, and toasting mine at home fills the whole house with the heady aroma of orange blossom, rose water, nutmeg and mastika.
If you’re eating in, baked at high temperature in his store centrepiece – a remarkable round artisan brick oven – Eddie’s Meat Pizza (Manoush) ($3.50) with lamb, onions, pepper and spice is crisp and delicious.
It sings against freshly chopped chillies, or his truly wicked Chilli Factory Scorpion Strike sauce.
However if it’s lunch on the run, I’d suggest his fluffy Za’atar ($3) cooked with oregano and lemony sumac, then wrapped around vibrant tomatoes and olives.
Belmore Lebanese Bakery
339 Burwood Rd, Belmore
Ph: (02) 9759 2490