ADVERTISEMENT

Savor exotic Middle Eastern flavors at Menai | Leader of St. George and Sutherland Shire

Way to say thank you: Front line staff from the local COVID testing clinic were happy to receive a free meal from Pharaoh’s Lounge during the pandemic last year.

Pharaoh’s Lounge in Menai may have opened four weeks before the COVID shutdown, but that hasn’t stopped owner Ramy Hanna from creating one of Shire’s most successful restaurants.

Switching to a takeaway and delivery service, the restaurant has remained open seven days a week from 11am to 8pm.

Mr. Hanna said the strategy paid off and that the success of those first months has continued ever since. In fact, the restaurant is rated 4.9 out of five stars in the Google reviews.

Now that things are back to relative normal, the Pharaoh Lounge is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5pm to 10pm and Friday to Sunday from 11am to 10pm for lunch and dinner.

ADVERTISEMENT

The fully licensed restaurant serves a Middle Eastern menu that includes delicacies from Egypt and Lebanon.

“We call it Middle Eastern cuisine because it appeals to a lot of people,” explained Mr. Hanna, who has an Egyptian background. “When we first opened, we noticed that it was very rare to find Middle Eastern cuisine in the Shire,” he said.

And while the majority of diners come from the local area, increasing numbers are coming from other parts of Sydney.

“We had a big family group to dine with us the other day as some came from Wollongong and some came from town to meet in Minai and enjoy a big celebration together,” said Mr. Hanna.

ADVERTISEMENT

The restaurant prides itself on its ability to cater to everyone from couples looking for a romantic dinner for two to a large group ready for a big night out.

And when it comes to the menu, the Pharaoh’s Banquet has proven to be a huge success.

It has a selection of the restaurant’s most famous dishes including hummus, baba ghanoush, cheese sambousek, fried kibbeh, lamb skewers, chicken and kofta and turmeric rice.

“The banquet is good for families or large groups because it makes it very easy for everyone,” said Mr. Hanna. “Kids will love it too.”

“We also offer various vegetarian and vegan items,” said Mr. Hanna. “A lot of people come to us because we have a good selection of vegetarian items on the menu.”

The team at Pharaoh’s Lounge are proud and active members of the Shire community.

“In August of last year, we donated some meals to the amazing frontline workers at the Barden Ridge COVID Testing Center,” said Mr. Hanna.

“It was our way of thanking you for doing such a great job for us.”