Saturday, 15 May 2010


19 Victoria Av., Albert Park - ph: (03) 9696 1386

Come here for: the most delicious Middle Eastern feast
Don't come here: without booking on a Saturday night or if you are on a diet

I love Kamel. I've been coming to this restaurant for years and it never fails to impress.

Kamel is all about the food. The space is pretty small and simple, the staff is efficient and knowledgeable, but not remarkably nice.

But any less-than-perfect first impressions you might have will disappear as soon as you choose one of their banquet menus. They have three options - mostly meat, mostly seafood and vegetarian - and prices range between $30 and $40 per person for, basically, a feast of Middle Eastern food.

We chose the $30 mostly meat menu and here is what we've got:

Saganaki with lemon

Loved the crispy, golden crust on the toasted cheese. Nothing beats saganaki with lemon for me.

Chef's selection entree: Lebanese sausage, olives, salad, labneh and Turkish bread

Tried a bit of everything, except for the sausage. Olives were the highlight for me; chunky and with the right amount of salt and bitterness.

Zucchini, corn, fetta & chickpea fritters

This as actually quite a light dish for fritters. I think they used smashed chickpeas instead of flour to bind the other ingredients, and probably used less eggs than normal as well. I'm tempted to look for a recipe and try this at home - liked it better than normal fritters.

Lamb kofta with spiced tomato sauce

Probably not one of my favorites, as the sauce was lukewarm by the time it got to the table. It tasted great, but would have been much better served hot. Again, right combination (and amount) of spices. I specially liked the sweet paprika.

Moroccan couscous with almonds and sultanas

Grilled tahini and yogurt chicken served with tabbouleh, cherry tomatoes and grapefruit

Chicken and couscous were served together. The couscous was soft and steaming hot. Loved the shaved almonds in it. Chicken was also very good, but felt bit bland after having tasted the more complex spices in the lamb kofta. I think it would have been better to inverse the meat dishes' order.

Dessert plate - Turkish delight, baklava, Turkish fairy floss, halva and Turkish delight ice creams

By the time we got to dessert, I was already feeling pretty full and stick to the ice cream only. Suffice to say it's made by neighbouring ice cream shop Jock's. Delicious.

As I go through all the pictures, I'm actually feeling a bit embarrassed about this post. Can't believe we went through so much food! It didn't feel like that much when the dishes slowly came out one after the other, but to see them all here at once is kind of overwhelming. Note to self: need to go for a long run later today to make up for it!!!

Kamel on Urbanspoon


  1. Far out, that saganaki looks good!

    I must make some Turkish Delight ice cream one of these days.

  2. You had me at toasted cheese. Awesome.

  3. Conor - Jock's ice creams are AMAZING! It's a must go in your next visit to Melbourne.

    Camille - I LOVE their saganaki...