Fact: halloumi makes every dish better. The tastebud-tingling cheese has been a staple in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking for years, and for good reason. Made with a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk, it’s salty, moreish and a textural delight. With a higher than average melting point, it’s also one of the few cheeses you can grill or fry.
We’ve rounded up the most delicious halloumi dishes in Sydney. Happy halloumi hunting!
The Shenkin group’s signature dish, the Shakshuka with Eggplant & Halloumi, is also its most popular, and it’s served at Shenkin Kitchen (Enmore), Café Shenkin (Erskineville), Shenkin Eatery (Surry Hills), Little Shenkin (Randwick), and the just-opened Shenkin Balmain. Made up of poached eggs baked in a 7-hour slow-cooked tomato, capsicum and garlic sauce, the dish is topped with slices of eggplant and halloumi.
Enmore, Erskineville, Surry Hills, Randwick and Balmain
In the CBD, Alpha celebrates all things Greek, from the delicious food to the decadent décor. Their menus feature two stand-out halloumi dishes. The Manitari Burger just launched, and comes complete with fried halloumi, caper leaves, and roast mushroom ‘buns’. The other is the Lobster Tart, which is served with charred leeks, dill, zucchini blossoms and a slice of haloumi grilled to perfection.
238 Castlereagh Street, Sydney
If you’re in the mood to indulge, make a beeline for Urban Bites. Located in Newtown, the casual eatery serves up souvlaki, schnitzels and fish dishes (we love the barramundi), all of which pair perfectly with their fried halloumi chunks. A hybrid between fries and nuggets, the golden, crispy halloumi sticks come with lemon wedges and aioli. Go on, you’ve earned it.
70-72 King Street, Newtown
For satisfying, Greek-style street food, go to Zeus Street Greek. Try the Stavros Stavrou, a vegetarian pita stuffed with olive tapenade, caramelised onions, tzatziki, tomato, parsley, and grilled halloumi with Aegan slaw. Or, treat yourself to a serve of halloumi chips. Here, they’re dusted in tapioca flour (gluten-free and slightly sweet), lightly fried and topped with a dollop of smoky yoghurt and lemon.
CBD, Surry Hills, Broadway, Rosebery, Drummoyne, Dulwich Hill, Gladesville, Cronulla
One of the best vegetarian restaurants in Sydney, Yulli’s is known for its eclectic menu, which combines Asian, American and Moroccan flavours – as well as many cheesy delights. When you’re craving halloumi, go for the grilled halloumi with basil, balsamic reduction, charred witlof, roasted potatoes and rocket. Another moreish option is the naan pocket, stuffed with crispy enoki mushrooms, lettuce, pickled cabbage and halloumi. De-lish!
417 Crown Street, Surry Hills
At this chic, dimly-lit bar in Darlinghurst, the food is a cross between Lebanese and Middle Eastern. The honey halloumi is the most popular dish on the menu. The chefs cook some honey with spices and lemon, and then pan-sear the halloumi with a dash of butter. It’s then drizzled with the signature honey until it sizzles, and topped with za’atar. Is your mouth watering yet?
52 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
Nomad is a halloumi lover’s idea of heaven. The team makes almost everything in-house, and even has a cheese room. There, they whip up their speciality, Jersey Milk Halloumi, which is served sizzling on a skillet with roast crimson grapes, honey and sherry. If you’re with a group, opt for the Bigger Feast, where you’ll score the halloumi along with a bunch of share plates.
16 Foster Street, Surry Hills
Over in Bondi [link to Bondi Road blog], Sefa Kitchen dishes up Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fusion fare. Start your day with the pea and corn fritters, topped with a smear of tomato relish and grilled halloumi. Otherwise, go for afternoon mezes on the weekend (between 12.30-2pm), where you can feast on grilled halloumi dipped in honey and za’atar for a balanced blend of sweet and savoury.
292 Bondi Road, Bondi
Bright and buzzy, Kepos Street Kitchen is a foodie destination that’s most famous for its falafel [link to falafel blog]. The halloumi dishes are also crowd favourites. For breakfast, the pea and halloumi fritters are topped with poached eggs, smoked salmon and chervil. Come lunchtime, the oven-roasted pork loin is date-glazed, and served with a poached egg, challah bread, broccolini, baby carrots, and caramelised halloumi.
96 Kepos Street, Redfern