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Review: Petra Palace

Martina Taliano

My point of reference for Lebanese food comes from my Lebanese friend Amenah who is a fabulous cook.

Taught by her mother, Amenah cooks traditional Lebanese food most nights and an invitation to dinner is always met with a mouthwatering “Yes!”

So when an opportunity came up to enjoy a dinner at Petra Palace, I couldn’t wait to share the experience with Amenah.

Tareq, Petra Palace’s owner, is originally from Jordan and while the menu is clearly Lebanese there is a definite Jordanian influence. Tareq explained that Lebanese food is very popular and trusted throughout the world, and Petra Palace is the way he is sharing his love of food from Jordan.

Tareq imported furniture from Syria, Egypt and Jordan and each part of the restaurant has been carefully selected to lend itself to the air of quality and traditionalism inside.

We started with Mezza, which consisted of Tabouli Salad, Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Cheese Sambousek, Falafel and Fried Kibbeh.

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The Hummus and Baba Ganoush was amazingly smooth and creamy. Amenah has made me Kibbeh before and this was no let down; the Kibbeh was a ball of nutty minced deliciousness.

I used to hate Falafels until I had tasted Amenah’s, so I was a bit wary of going back to restaurant Falafels. However, I wasn’t let down – the freshness of Petra’s Falafel exploded with each bite. They may have been even better than Amenah’s (don’t tell her though!).

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While we were delving into the Mezza, we were treated to a show of Belly Dancing which was just so fabulous. If you want a sedate and quiet meal then Petra Palace is not for you. The Belly Dancing was interactive and other customers were encouraged to get up and join in. The enthralled look on a baby’s face at the gorgeous blingy costume was just priceless.

Our next dish was Chicken Fatteh, a casserole of marinated chicken, crispy Lebanese bread, spiced rice, garlic, mint and yoghurt topped with pine nuts. Fatteh is like little puffs of spiced clouds that melt in your mouth – SO GOOD.

We finished up with the Mixed Grill with one skewer each of chargrilled Lamb Kebab, Shishtawook (chicken kebab) and Kafta Kebab (ground lamb and beef). Honestly, by this time we were both so full that could barely fit much more in. Here is a tip for your trip to Petra Palace: pace yourself!

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Traditionally, the meals would be consumed over 3-5 hours, not the hour or so that Westerners usually eat a meal over. The serving sizes are very generous and all the food was so irresistible that I found it difficult to stop after only a few bites!

Luckily this seems to be a common occurrence for customers at Petra Palace and the offer to take the leftovers home was greatly appreciated, as it was too delicious to waste.

Having been open for a year now, Petra Palace is a well-established restaurant that you must put on your list to visit. Only open for dinner at the moment, they plan to open for lunches in the near future. One of the great things about going for dinner in Phillip is that there is plenty of free parking, too.

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With a Children’s menu and vegetarian and gluten free dishes available there will be choices to please everyone no matter what their tastes or needs.

The author ate courtesy of Petra Palace, however their opinions remain their own. All images courtesy of

  • Katrina Lindsay

    I love this review. I have been eating at Petra Palace since it opened and have been in love with it since. It is a fabulous night out and you will want to go back for more!