Rosalie is one of my local haunts, and I love when something new pops up there. I have had my eye on a space for a while, and been watching the progress intently. About a month ago- the signs finally went up- Rouj and a little giveaway tag line, modern Lebanese.
In my previous life as a University student, I used to Nanny. The people I nannied for were amazing, and the kids- who I call M’n’M were just gorgeous. I love them to bits. One of the added bonuses of nannying for this particular family, was that they have a Lebanese background and their Grandmother would make some amazing Lebanese food, that they insisted I try. It was so great, I developed a bit of love for Lebanese food, where I hadn't had very much experience prior! So when I saw Rouj opening up in the hood, I was very excited, finally a chance to get my hands, or more precisely, mouth around some hopefully yummy Lebanese.
As Rouj had only been opened for two days when I visited, there were still some processes being put in place, and a couple of things that were not quite streamlined. Obviously this is totally 100% normal. I also didn't want to give a very critical review, as that wouldn't really be fair- so I'm going to give more just a rundown of what we ate.
Rouj has lots of promise. When I popped in to get a take away menu the day before, one of the waitresses showed me down to the back cabinet which was packed full with fresh Lebanese desserts, salads and fresh marinating skewers.
The menu is separated into three categories - mezza & dips, salads & kebabs and platters & sweets. There are plenty of gluten free and vegetarian options that are clearly marked on the menu. The prices are reasonable - salads $5.5 for small, $7.4 for medium and $8.5 for large, mezza items under $3.5 and skewers between $4.5 and $5.5.
We decided to get takeaway as C and I both had lots of other things to do at home, and couldn't really be bothered dining out... Weird, I know, especially as it's often easier if you dine in- no washing up! But sometimes I feel like being slovenly, so I was!
We selected a cheese finger for $3.2 and a silverbeet roll for $2.8 from the mezza and a small eggplant salad $5.5 and a kebab each. Don't ask me why. I don't even really like kebabs, but I decided to try anyway! C chose the chicken kebab for $8.5 and I went with the kafta kebeb for $8.5.
The cheese finger was much more sophisticated than the cheddar on toast cheese finger from my childhood. Filo pastry filled with haloumi, feta, onion, parsley and spices - then deep fried, was particularly tasty. The parsley really came through and provided a delicious green element to the cheesy bite.
The silverbeet roll, a Leb version of the much loved Greek Dolmade. I'm not sure who made them first, but they are both good. Filled with rice, onion, tomato and lemon juice, wrapped in soft silverbeet leaf and served with a little tzatziki on the side, the roll was lovely and fresh- the lemon giving extra kick. These would be lovely to take to work for lunch, may look into making some on the weekend.. Or I may just pop across and buy a couple... I'm feeling lazy- it is the end of the year!
Smoked eggplant, cauliflower, lettuce, tomato, onion and lemon juice made up the eggplant salad- which as the smoked eggplant would suggest, was extremely...... um,..... smoky. It just occurred to me that there aren't really any other ways to describe smoky... but this eggplant salad was smoky. It was really a really vivid salad and I loved the texture. Always a fan of eggplant.
The kebabs here are interesting. The quality of the meat is infinitely better than a regular 'kebab' shop. Free range chicken breast meat, lamb backstrap and marinated rib fillet are all options.
I went with the kafta- which is minced leg of lamb, hommus, tomato, pickles, parsley and sumac. The Lebanese bread it was wrapped in was good, but mine was a little oversauced. I could really only taste sauce, but when I fished out some of the kafta by itself, it was quite well seasoned. Next time I decide to order a kebab, I'll ask for only half the amount of sauce.
C agreed that the kebab was really fresh, but also thought the chicken breast could have had more seasoning. His sauce very garlicky and probably overpowered the other ingredients too, so maybe less sauce as well. Please note- these are TOTALLY different from the average kebab that you would eat at 2 a.m. and thankfully so!
I'm really excited to have Rouj in the neighbourhood. Even from our takeaway in their first week, we had some good food and was impressed by the simple but rather nice menu.
There are banquet options and for $35 per person you get a mix of entree, mezza, main and dessert- so that option could be worth trying if you have a party of four or more. I will go back in a couple of weeks and try out some of the other options- the skewers look promising, as do the sweets. I'm glad that Bris Vegas is finally attracting some quality, family run eateries into the burbs!
When to go: Whenever! Pop in and give it a go.
So tell me readers, do you love Lebanese food?
Shop 3, 21 Nash Street
Rosalie QLD 4064
07 3367 2210