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“Great Location - Pity about the rest”
Review of El-Phoenician

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Ranked #436 of 5,833 Restaurants in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: One of Sydney’s highest rated Lebanese restaurants, the El-Phoenician, garnered star-driven praises from The Sunday Telegraph proving it is a contemporary and stylistic showcase with a modernistic approach to an arrestingly innovative Middle-Eastern food styling. The El-Phoenician's artistically executed menu and skillfully developed wine lists have been assembled by pedigreed Chefs and an award winning Sommelier - that are truly bent on awakening your consciousness.
Level Contributor
150 reviews
95 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Great Location - Pity about the rest”
Reviewed December 2, 2012

I went in a group to this restaurant, its a great location and we were seated on a long table. Three of our party were held up at work and it wasnt a problem for them to hold off bringing the banquet till they arrived, the rest of us were able to snack on the dips, bread, pickles and salad - which were refilled as they were eaten. This was the best thing of the meal.
The rest of my party were having a banquet whilst I ordered seperately - the chick pea patties $10 for entree and the bbq prawns $40 for main, I was disappointed that there were only 4 prawns for $40 - they were butterflied so on first glance they took up the plate but there was still only 4 prawns.
One of my party is highly allergic to egg and she had organised the booking by email and phone - however on the night we found out the bookings are actually taken by the Parramatta restaurant for Walsh Bay. After being assured in writing that the banquet chosen by our party contained no egg or egg product she felt relatively safe to eat - especially as she had previously eaten a number of times at the Parramatta restaurant. The dips were OK but on taking her first bite of her entree with garlic sauce her throat started closing up - there was egg white in the dip. She had her meds straight away and then started vomiting (in the toilet by that stage) and afterwards was only able to sip some water.
On a busy Friday night in Sydney with traffic gridlocked, if we had required an ambo or for some reason she had not had her meds this could have had a terrible ending.
The Manager did apologise and said he would waive the cost of her meal and drinks package - but then stated that there was also egg in the chicken kebabs as well as the garlic sauce.
This was a major miscommunication btw the bookings and the restaurant and was exceedingly dangerous. She was not well enough to catch the train home and was forced to spend $120 on a cab.
I left with her not long after this occurred leaving the rest of our party to have their mains to make sure she got a cab ok leaving my money for my meal with the group, however the first bill the group received was an overcharge and had to be adjusted down.
Overall with all the great restaurants in Sydney this is one I will not be heading back to.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank acutlc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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109 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best Lebanese in Sydney”
Reviewed September 10, 2012

A regular Parramatta El-Phoenician fan, this was my first trip down to the beautiful Walsh Bay venue. It is such an impressive location, with fabulous service and the same 'wow' food that we are used to at Parramatta. Seriously cannot rave about this place enough! Definitely recommend for a romantic dinner, it is simply stunning!

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank FoodLover8Sydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wollongong, Australia
Level Contributor
792 reviews
326 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 273 helpful votes
“Why is this so Popular?”
Reviewed September 9, 2012

Because the food is great, the atmosphere is fantastic and it is great value. This 350 seat restaurant is always packkked on a Friday and Saturday night with people lined up to get in. Have eaten here on a midweek occasion and even has large numbers then. All these people cannot be wrong

Visited February 2012
Thank Eddie O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Terrible service by an incredibly rude manager (Samson).”
Reviewed September 8, 2012

My family and I went to El-Phoenician for dinner this evening and I felt immediately compelled to write a review after the terrible experience we had. We are visiting from London and eat a wide variety of good quality Lebanese and Turkish food at home - we were tired from travelling still and wanted to have something familiar. Upon ordering the manager looked at us with what I can only describe as a look of disgust and told us we should order something different. As we do eat this cuisine regularly we told him we were happy with what we had ordered to which his response was to raise his eyebrows in contempt. They brought us our mezzes however the flatbreads they served were stone cold and chewy. Whilst we ate these the manager kept looking over at us with the same disgusted look and muttering to the other waiting staff. After a short while we decided this was putting us off so much we couldn't stay. We asked for the bill and said we were unhappy with the rudeness to which he argued with us and told us we had to take the rest of the food, either stay or take it in a box. We wanted to leave as quickly as possible and after a while he brought us the full bill without offering any discount and brought the remaining food out and left it on the table.
I said I had never experienced such service in any restaurant in London to which he replied "Well, you're in Australia now." I should add he wasn't Australian himself.

All in all a dreadful experience which left us all with a nasty taste in our mouth.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank disatisfiedcustomr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thornleigh, Australia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Beautiful Filling Food”
Reviewed June 11, 2012

I ate here over the weekend with a colleague travelling from Amsterdam, I live in Sydney myself.

I am from Lebanon and I have to say that this food was of very high quality, in some cases the dishes were almost identical to the authentic cuisine that we serve at home.

We all had the El Phoenician Banquet which was $57 per head and there was SO much FRESH and tasty food. It started with breads and authentic Lebanese dips with some other starters that we would make at home. What followed was beautifully cooked meat and vegetables with some tabouli.

Overall the food was so great and filling there was no room left for dessert! The colleague who says there arent any good places in Amsterdam for Lebanese was thrilled and satisfied.

The service was also quick and very 'on the ball'. I would eat here again.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Guest1801
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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