I notice Meeka’s new additions as soon as I arrive at the restaurant, which overlooks a leafy Rokeby Road. The exterior is now adorned with exotic murals and the beautifully carved Moroccan door at the restaurant’s entrance, beckons us inside.
Head Chef, and co owner Leah Clarke has also added a woodfired oven to her kitchen. A few years after my last review on Meeka, we decide to take another look at this Subicao favourite. Meeka is a classy little place – a modern, crisp restaurant with a splash of Moroccan decoration that reflects the style of food perfectly – modern Australian cuisine, with a Middle Eastern twist.
On my first visit, I was impressed with the hospitality of Faye Clarke, who as well as being co-owner is also Leah’s Mum. Her enthusiasm for their wine list was infectious. The mother-daughter team had won a bevy of awards and accolades including “Wine List of the year”. Their impressive wines are handpicked to complement Meeka’s menu.
My Dad is along for the ride, with Chef busy working. Many people think I acquired my love of food from being married to a Chef, it has far more to do with being the daughter of a man who approaches eating with the gusto of a hungry Labrador! He enjoys a glass of cabernet sauvignon from Perth Hills winery Aldersyde. My pick, the Murdoch Hill chardonnay, has fresh and fruity flavours that compliments the Turkish, Lebanese, Israeli and Moroccan inspired cuisine so well.
First, we share dishes from the mezze menu. I can’t possibly eat Middle Eastern cuisine without a little hummus ($12). It’s served topped with coriander roasted honey pumpkin, and a yoghurt flatbread for ripping and dipping into the creamy hummus.
Baharat fried cauliflower ($13) is a flavour sensation. Meeka’s own baharat spice blend includes cinnamon, allspice, cumin, coriander, as well as some well-guarded “secret” ingredients. The crisp morsels are complimented by a smooth preserved lemon tarator, a honey nut based mayonnaise. Candied almonds add even more bite.
We devour delicious harissa yogurt marinated chicken ($28), served on an ornate metal skewer. The tender chicken skewer sits on a bed of spiced puy lentils and is topped with a delicate pickled herb salad.
You simply cannot dine at Meeka and not choose a tajine, which is essentially a Moroccan stew, cooked and served in a colourful earthenware dish. Tajine dishes are accompanied by Israeli couscous or quinoa, the gluten friendly ancient Egyptian seed.
We’re met with fragrant chermoula chicken ($36) aromas, as soon as the lid is lifted by our waitress. The tender chicken dish is simply mouth-watering and jam packed full of eggplant, plump green olives, sweet dates, a mint preserved lemon yoghurt and orange herb salad.
Pides are a new addition to the menu, baked fresh in the wood fired oven. These Turkish style pizzas ($26) are topped with mouth-watering braised pork neck, with tangy rhubarb relish and a fennel, apple and herb salad. The pides are crisp on the outside and a perfectly fluffy on the inside.
There are several other dishes cooked by the flames of the wood fire including slow cooked meats and a roasted beetroot dish ($16) catches our eye. The roasted sumac root vegetable has a sweet and intense flavour, which marries perfectly with flavours of tangy lemon, fig vincotto and a mint labneh (yogurt cheese). This tasty dish is finished with a sprinkle of macadamia dukkah.
We cannot say no to the fluffy Turkish delight stuffed doughnuts ($16). The cardamom sugar dusted doughnuts ooze with Turkish delight and are drizzled with a spiced chocolate sauce. On the side is creamy homemade white chocolate ice cream, full of oodles of pistachios, which adds crunch to the silky smooth ice cream. Topped with pretty Persian fairy floss, this scrumptious dessert is taken to another level with the addition of a rose macaron.
The Meeka pav ($17), is a sweet and spicy combination of wattle bush creme fraiche cream, spiced saffron Turkish figs, lemon thyme curd, crushed almonds, honeycomb and floss. There’s some wonderful flavours mingling around, though the pavlova is a touch too sweet for me.
Like my first visit, I am seriously impressed by Meeka. The consistently excellent service, food and wine is almost flawless and still retains the attention and care of a family run business. A must try.
At a glance
■ Meeka Restaurant
361 Rokeby Road
Phone 9381 1800
■ Opening times
Tuesday – Saturday
5pm till late
value for money 4
■ style – Modern Australian
with a Middle Eastern twist
■ wine – award winning wine list
with an international feel.
■ Chef – Leah Clarke
■ Owner – Leah Clarke
And Faye Clarke
■ feel – inviting, modern and classy
■ wheelchair access – yes
■ cost –
Mezze – $12 – $25
Mains – $22 – $38
Dessert – $7.80 – $38
■ all in all – a delicious
Moroccan inspired menu
full of robust and exotic flavours.
Equally great for groups
or an intimate date night.