NOUR – Culinary Perfection on Every Level

Lebanese Dreams are Made in this Place

I first visited NOUR not long after it opened and it just blew my mind, such wonderfully nuanced and perfectly flavoured Middle Eastern food, the best I had devoured prior was late night drunken kebabs and this was presenting Lebanese food in a fine dining setting. Mind blown. I was hooked! And nowadays I have two clients, one is a kebab shop and one is a fine dining Turkish restaurant in Brisbane, and the fine dining Middle Eastern venues are now almost common.

But not only was NOUR my first, they are still up there as one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney.

I had recently been to iTo with one of my besties, Steve, who is a chef, and we adored it, it even made my coveted Best Restaurant for 2023, iTo was mine, and Steve’s was this venue, NOUR, the funny thing is, they are owned by the same people, ESCA Group (AALIA, Nour, Lilymu and iTo). Now my favourite restaurant group!!

The Venue

Located just across the road from iTo next to The Clock Hotel is the unassuming venue for NOUR. It has a simple glass frontage and outdoor “high-seat” seating. Just inside is a row of tables and then the bar, behind the bar is the huge kitchen which has sections open to the venue.

Then it is a massive seating area, private sections and a wonderful glass back that looks out onto a small but wonderful garden. I do prefer sitting at the front as it is much bright and helps out the pictures.

The palate of the venue is muted creams, with splashes of green, grey and yellow. It is a very comforting venue and I could stay there forever haha.

The People

This is an al a carte relaxed fine dining venue, and the they have the staff to match. We had about three staff who checked on us, I am sure the guy was the manager, and we had two female waitstaff, and they all knew everything about the dishes, high praise for their staff training.

I do believe they had all tried every dish and could answer all of mine and Steve’s questions. We ordered slightly different to the norm so they were also keen to see how we went.

They helped us with food and drink choices and we can’t thank them enough. I think Steve nearly proposed to one of them hahahaha.

What we ordered…

Sydney rock oysters, rose water mignonette

Beef nayyeh, potato zamini, macadamia

Woodfired Abrolhos scallop, Aleppo burnt butter

Mussel “dolma”parfait, tomato, house pita

Chicken bits shawarma, tarator, pickled cabbage, yoghurt bread

Beetroot, sheep’s curd, pomegranate dressing, house pita

Raw bluefin tuna, caramelised kishk, bulgur

Woodfired eggplant, filfil chouma, za’atar crisp

Fremantle octopus, chermoula, potato, whipped roe

The Food

Steve and I liked the entrees better than the mains while reading the menu and decided to stick with them so we ordered nine entrees and feasted haha

And to be honest, it was probably the best decision we made, all the entrees were perfection and we got to try a lot more of the food this way.

Both of us chose the the Mussel “dolma” parfait as the best dish of the meal, it was a mussel parfait and I still think about it. So wonderfully tasty and almost buttery.

The Food continued..

They had one of the best oysters of 2023, so bloody fresh, small, creamy and I am a person who generally only goes for one prawn, I could have smashed a half dozen of these. The rose water made the perfect addition.

The Nayyeh was, as-usual, marvellous, the scallop wonderful, OMG that butter. The shawarma was a fun interactive meal, and the beetroot was very nearly Steve’s favourite dish, I adored it but found it more earthy than I expected, I nearly had to hold Steve back from licking the plate clean, it definitely wins for the sexiest dish.

NOUR’s tuna was superb, the bulgur added a nice texture. The eggplant I really liked but wished it turned up earlier – I was holding my belly by this stage and was about to explode, if I had this as one of the starter dishes it could have nearly been my favourite dish, the filfil chuma is a Libyan hot sauce and NOUR needs to sell it by the bottle, with a cut to me for the suggestion haha

I had one bite of the octopus, it was delicious but in all honesty I can’t judge it due to starting to represent Marjorie Dursely from Harry Potter.

Top 10 Cocktail of All Time

And the one cocktail I had definitely makes my Top 10 Cocktails of All Time – Tamuru Passion (their signature drink) – Wyborowa Vodka, Passoa Passionfruit, Elderflower, Tamarind, Blood Orange Granita. Now I need another one!

In Conclusion

As it was on my first visit and how it was on this visit; culinary perfection in every dish and drink. This was Steve’s favourite venue of the year, it would have made my Top 10 but I didn’t want the pics to come out until I found the time to write my review. But it will make 2024’s Top 10 list for sure. Bravo NOUR, you have still got it!

Special thanks to Candid Comms for the invitation to dine.

SCORE BREAKDOWN: 3/3 food, 2/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 1/1 venue & ambience, 1/1 cost, 1/1 toilets & 1/1 bonus

*** Spooning Australia was invited, with thanks, by the venue ***

All photographs are Copyrighted by Spooning Australia and Jason King – please feel free to share with full credit provided.

NOUR Details



02 9331 3413


Shop 3, 490 Crown Street,

Surry Hills, NSW 2010




Medium to High

Opening Hours

They are open seven days a week.


Thursday to Sunday, reservations from 12.00pm – 2.15pm


Monday to Wednesday, reservations from 5.30pm – 8.30pm

Thursday to Saturday, reservations from 5.30pm – 9.00pm

Sunday, reservations from 5.00pm – 8.00pm

Vegetarian Options

I doubt it but check

Local Delivery

I doubt it but check

Gluten-Free Options


Kid Friendly
I wouldn’t take them unless they are angels with a broad food taste