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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Azima: A new Middle Eastern culinary experience to open in Canberra

Azima, a lively new Middle Eastern restaurant, is set to open its doors to the public next Friday in the space formerly home to Brunello on City Walk.

Azima – which loosely translates to “an invitation to feast” – will be a first-of-its kind for the Canberra dining scene. Focusing exclusively on traditional Lebanese cuisine, the restaurant will centre around fresh, vibrant flavours and generous banquet menus at an affordable price point.

The new restaurant is the third venue in Canberra opened by long-time hospitality entrepreneur and operator Adam Elchakak, who also owns Inka and Koto.

This project, developed in collaboration with co-owner and hospitality consultant George Khoury, marks a departure from the Asian-influenced concepts that Elchakak is known for.

At Azima, the emphasis is on recreating the classic home-cooked dishes that Khoury and Elchakak grew up with, served share-style, with a warm sense of hospitality and a casual, come-as-you-are atmosphere.

At a time when many households are tightening their budgets, it marks a welcome addition to the
Canberra dining scene.

“We wanted to create a place where people can still go out, spend time with
family and friends and have a great meal any day of the week—without worrying about their bank
balance,” says Khoury.

While the menu features traditional meat-based dishes such as shish tawook (marinated chicken breast skewers with chilli bread and garlic) and kibbeh (fried burghul wheat balls filled with mince and onion), it also celebrates the vegetarian and vegan dishes that are pivotal to Middle Eastern cuisine–including hommos and smoked eggplant dips, fattoush, falafel, tabouli and arnabeet makle (golden cauliflower with tahini sauce).

Azima will be open for lunch and dinner daily from Friday 31 May.

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