Parramatta’s Sahra By the River, as the name suggests, sits overlooking the Parramatta River. The restaurant was built around ten years ago by the family that still own and run it today. They are masters of one of our most loved cuisines, Middle Eastern! The owners have recently given Sahra a makeover. We had dinner there last week to check out their brand new look and sample their famous Harem Banquet!

Parramatta River  Parramatta River  Parramatta River

Thanks to daylight saving we were able stretch our legs with a walk along the riverbank before dinner.

Sara By The River  Sahra By The River  Sahra By The River

Sahra’s ornate entrance took us through to an airy dining area. The tables were well spaced with cushioned bench seating and chairs. The new look is stylish with hanging ferns and lanterns fitting in well with its riverside location. From inside you can look out over the river from the huge windows at the end of the restaurant. We decided to relax with a drink and take it all in.

Sahra By The River  Sahra By The River Lemonade  Sahra By The River Lemonade

The wine list had more selections than I expected, including French champagne! There was an exotic list of cocktails which sounded exciting. We should have caught a cab and ordered the Watermelon Martini and Pomegranate Cosmopolitan. Instead we enjoyed the house made lemonade, it was cool and refreshing with a hint of rosewater. We didn’t miss the alcohol at all.

Sahra By The River  Sahra By The River  Sahra By The River

The banquet was served as a meze of ten entree sized dishes, the little dishes were bought to the table and placed before us like an open flower. We had a trio dips, labneh, hummus and baba ghanoush with two types of bread. Stuffed vine leaves, pickled vegetables and salads made this quite a spread. With such a pretty presentation we couldn’t wait to tuck in, after a foodie photoshoot of course!

Sara By The river Meze  Bread  Sahra By The River Meze

Our tabouleh and fattoush salads were fresh and zesty. I love how this cuisine uses simple flavours like lemon, mint, parsley and sumac to bring salads to life. The bread topping on the fattoush had the desired crunch. 

Sahra By The River Meze  Sahra By The River  Sahra By The River

Next up was a plate of coriander potatoes and little pastries filled with spiced lamb and spinach. Then came the grand finale, pleasingly tender char grilled chicken, lamb and kafta skewers served with garlic sauce. While I am not the biggest fan of kafta, Sahra's version was tender and juicy so I really enjoyed it. 

Sahra By The River  Sahra By The River

Sahra's Lebanese banquets are just a small part of a menu inspired by the owner's culture and travels. We found the staff natural, welcoming and friendly. The food was generous, delicous and elegant. 

 

 Sahra by the River  Sahr4  The Western Sydney Food Blog

 

On Friday and Saturday nights, only the banquets are served. Free refills are available for banquet salads and dips. If you're lucky you may even see some bellydancing!

 

Location:  2/76 Phillip Street, Parramatta 2150 (near the ferry wharf)

Open: for lunch and dinner Tuesday to Sunday

Price: Mains range from $19 to $33  (lunch and dinner). Banquet meals for two or more people from $47 per person. 

Bookings: 02 9635 6615

 

Disclaimer: Our meal was compliments or Sahra By the River. Opinions expressed in this post remain our own.