Like the look of this dish? It's called hawawshi, and it's popular in Egypt. Crispy pita or calzone stuffed with spiced ground beef and served with yoghurt dip and pickles.
It's on the menu at Kings Valley Egyptian Restaurant, which officially opens to the public on Friday at 4/54 Beaumont Street in Hamilton. This is owner Mody Yakout's second Kings Valley Egyptian Restaurant. He opened his first in Forster in 2020.
The menu is based on authentic Egyptian recipes cooked by his family for many years, dishes like the Molokhia (Egyptian green soup); the Koshari (chickpeas, pasta, fried onions and a zesty tomato sauce, served on rice and brown lentils), or the Shish Tawook (three skewers of Egyptian spiced chicken marinated in yoghurt and lemon juice and served with tahini and bread). Dessert? Om Ali (dough, cream, sultanas, honey almond milk and coconut baked in the oven).
Diners can expect live (and local) music on Fridays, and belly-dancing performances on a weekend.
Mody made the news in Forster last September for providing free nutritious meals to those in need. When he arrived in Australia from the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria he struggled financially and was overwhelmed by the support he received from Forster-Tuncurry families, and wanted to give something back.
Newy Fried Chicken is serving "Bottomless Bird" every Sunday from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. It's a 90-minute unlimited food and beverage deal and tickets are $69 per person (non-alcohol tickets $40). Kids under 12? Free. Bookings encouraged, walk-ins welcome.
AHA NSW finalists
A short-list of the state's best pubs and hospitality operators has been released in this year's AHA NSW Awards for Excellence. The Hunter region finalists include:
Regional hotel of the year The Nags Head Hotel at Adamstown, The Prince of Merewether; The Windsor Castle Hotel at East Maitland.
Best live music venue The Cambridge Hotel, Huntlee Tavern at Branxton, The Bradford Hotel at Rutherford.
Best regional local Imperial Hotel Maitland, The Nags Head Hotel at Adamstown, Warners at the Bay.
Best family friendly The Windsor Castle Hotel.
Best sporting entertainment venue Commonwealth Hotel Newcastle at Cooks Hill, Hotel Jesmond, Warners at the Bay.
Best cocktail list The Nags Head Hotel.
Best steak Sydney Junction Hotel at Hamilton, The Burwood Inn at Merewether, The Prince of Merewether.
Best parmi Bushrangers Bar & Brasserie at Largs, Commonwealth Hotel Newcastle, Hotel Jesmond, The Nags Head Hotel.
Best burger Commonwealth Hotel Newcastle, The Prince of Merewether, The Shortland Hotel, The Windsor Castle Hotel.
Regional chef of the year Jess Garnham, Lakeside Village Tavern; Joshua Lips, The Prince of Merewether; Natalie Samaras, Huntlee Tavern; Paul Thornton, Hotel Jesmond; Ryan Clack, The Windsor Castle Hotel; Sam Harman, Harrigan's Irish Pub and Accommodation; Suman Maharjan, Honeysuckle Hotel.
For the full list of finalists go online to ahaawardsnsw.com.au. This year's awards will also see the inclusion of a new category - the People's Choice Award (vote online at ahaawardsnsw.com.au/peoples-choice). The winners will be announced on October 24.
Healthy new range
Newcastle's own The Berry Brothers have been in Melbourne for the Fine Food Australia expo to showcase their acai/maqui and soda range.
"Our newest product is our Super-Sodas which are not currently available both retail and wholesale," co-owner Jacob Pepper said. "Our range includes maqui/elderberry infused with lemon myrtle, and strawberry infused with hibiscus. We have carbonated the drink to a level which sits in-between a tea and soda beverage. These are very unique in the market as they contain no added sugar and use 100 per cent super-fruit concentrate."
This month they also released a Maqui Super-Fruit Mix, which is a retail version of their Maqui Scoopable, and are about to release a range of acai cubes to the food service and retail sectors.
"Acai is normally sold in sachets. The cubes will be packaged in cardboard boxes and three-kilogram bags in order to cut the time that cafes have to spend on cutting open the acai sachets, while also reducing single-use plastic," Pepper said.
Feast for the Senses
There's still time to grab a ticket to Feast for the Senses on September 23, which kicks off Lake Macquarie City Council's Living Smart Festival 2022. It's a three-course dinner from The Wilderness Chef under the stars at the Multi-Arts Pavilion, mima, at Speers Point. Tickets at Eventbrite.
Cakeboi's Reece Hignell loves baking classic cakes and is releasing a book full of his favourite retro recipes just in time for Christmas. The Novocastrian's interest in baking was inspired by his beloved Nan and so are many of the recipes in the book, due to be released in November. The chapters will guide you through everything from the basics of baking through to Hignell's signature lemon tart. You can pre-order Cakeboi: A Collection of Classic Bakes online.
Freebie of the week
Regula Ysewijn takes you to the heart of what it means to be British in this beautiful tome: part-recipe book, part-culinary history of the British pudding.
Captivated by British culinary history - from its ancient savoury dishes such as the Scottish haggis to traditional sweet and savoury pies, pastries, jellies and ices, flummeries, junkets and jam roly-poly - Regula tells the story of British food, paying homage to the great British pudding, which is versatile and wonderful in all its guises.
Pride and Pudding, by Regula Ysewijn, is out now through Murdoch Books. Food & Wine has a copy to give away. To enter, send the words "Pride and Pudding" with your name, address and number to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries close on Monday at 9am.
IN OTHER NEWS:
WHAT DO YOU THINK? We've made it a whole lot easier for you to have your say. Our new comment platform requires only one log-in to access articles and to join the discussion on the Newcastle Herald website. Find out how to register so you can enjoy civil, friendly and engaging discussions. Sign up for a subscription here.