Emma’s Snack Bar
59 Liberty Street, Enmore, NSW
02 9550 3458
Emma’s Snack Bar was started with a very simple concept in mind; to feed customers the same way that Lebanese families feed themselves. The result is a casual eatery, where fresh ingredients take centre stage and dinner is served with a side of love.
Anthony Sofy established Emma’s on Liberty in the back streets of Enmore in 1998. It was a small and simple restaurant, named in honour of his mother and her love of honest, healthy Lebanese fare.
Emma’s on Liberty quickly garnered a loyal following who regularly visited the restaurant to enjoy flavourful and wholesome food. Following a renovation in 2014, Emma’s on Liberty evolved into Emma’s Snack Bar. Despite having a fresh new look and a more casual approach, the refurbished venue remains true to Anthony’s founding philosophy, and quality, local ingredients still reign supreme.
Anthony doubles as the Head Chef but the restaurant is dependent upon a small group of dedicated women who have been working with Anthony since the very beginning. They work tirelessly together to freshly prepare the food for each day’s service using time-honoured family recipes.
Wherever possible, vegetables are sourced from local farms and many of the herbs are grown in the restaurant’s own back garden. The plentiful use of herbs and spices throughout the menu results in food that packs a real flavour punch.
The menu is comprised of Lebanese street-style dishes, best designed to share, mezze style. Start with the traditional hummus with sauteed lamb and pine nuts, and the village fattoush, a traditional tangy salad topped with fried bread. After much persistence from regulars, the smoky baba ganoush is a permanent fixture on the menu. Team it with some house-made falafel, which are deep-fried until crisp and golden.
For something more substantial, reach for the beef shawarma. It’s marinated in spices and pan-fried with red onions, served with a side of tahini. Aromatic fish is a lighter option, rubbed in the house spice blend and served with toasted nuts.
The fillings in the home-style kebabs go above and beyond your late-night cravings and luckily for locals, they’re available to take away too. Finish any meal with a piece of Turkish delight or baklava.
The drinks list is small and concise and you can select your drop based on your preferred taste. Wine is available by the glass, carafe and bottle, and Anthony tries to keep things interesting by shaking up the offerings every month. Where he can, he’ll buy from local winemakers and brewers.
The original 1880s building, with exposed wooden beams and retro light boxes, provides the backdrop to the humming restaurant. The space reflects Anthony’s ethos, it’s unpretentious and low fuss.
It’s no wonder that Emma’s Snack Bar is a gathering spot for locals who are united in their desire to eat quality and well-priced Lebanese food in a relaxed and welcoming setting.