The words of the El Paso girl ring true when deciding what to order at a restaurant these days, but instead of “why not have both” it’s more often than not “why not have six?”.
It’s a rare occurrence that I’ll order just one meal, as whether I’m dining with one person or a long table of friends, we’re most likely to cover the table in a variety of dishes so we can try a bit of everything.
Similar to social media making it hard for our brains to concentrate on one thing, our taste buds are equally wanting to jump from one flavour, protein and texture to the next.
Luckily, many menus are designed specifically to be shared. And there are some cuisines and restaurants that do it seamlessly.
Take Sana in Fremantle for example. This welcoming Middle Eastern restaurant has created its tapas style array of dishes to be shared, which is great news as I wanted one of everything after reading it.
Narrowing it down to five, we started with the charred corn with sumac and tahini drizzled ($9). I’m not sure if it’s just me but corn seems to be having a moment; I’m seeing its spiny skeletons everywhere on social media.
Sana’s came sliced into quarters and was warm, juicy and delicious. Personally I would have loved a tiny bit more char for the extra smoky and textural element.
Chicken shawarma ($19) came with fluffy pita tucked next to chicken thigh sitting on a bed of slaw and diced tomatoes. All of the elements assembled inside the perfect pita was a tasty bite, but it didn’t have the wow factor in ways of spice or tenderness of the chicken.
The dishes arrived at the table as they were ready and service was friendly and efficient.
Hibar was portions of squid — tubes and tentacles — served on yoghurt and topped with thinly sliced fennel, capsicum and a Baharat spice mix ($19). Similar to the shawarma, the dish was good and the squid was cooked well, but it didn’t blow us away.
Lamb kofta ($19) arrived with bold lamb flavours that paired perfectly with the acidic yogurt sauce and thin slices of roast capsicum.
I find it hard to go past a fattoush ($12) — a salad typically of greens, tomato, cucumber, onion and fried pita with an acidic vinegar and sumac dressing — when it’s on the menu.
Sana’s also had the welcomed addition of pomegranate seeds and was fresh and delicious, but I would have loved the slice of fried pita served on the side crushed up throughout the salad, as the crunch is my favourite part.
While the dishes didn’t quite hit the highs of other Middle Eastern restaurants in Perth, the joy of a large sharing menu is being able to go back and trying new things and the delicious looking array of colourful dips is next on the list.
Sana: 93 Market St, Fremantle
OPEN: Tues – Friday, 5-9pm, Sat and Sun, 11am-9.30pm
CONTACt: 6186 6394
THE VERDICT: Big share style menu with dishes that are sure to leave you happy and full. While we would have loved bigger and bolder flavours, the dishes were well cooked and tasty and service was spot on.