Green Cedar Restaurant Café

If you’re looking for fancy decor, this isn’t the place. From its bright fluorescent lights to green laminated table tops, this eatery screams “fast food.” Still, we were persuaded by the fact that it’s the only Lebanese eatery in the heart of the CBD and, interestingly, it also offers shisha smokes for $15 a pop. We were initially disappointed by the limited choices on the place mat menus, but later discovered an array of dishes on the board above the order counter. Five minutes after placing our orders, the slightly chilled fattoush salad arrived, comprising lettuce, tomato, cucumber and grilled Lebanese bread cubes. It was tasty enough, though the lettuce had wilted somewhat from sitting too long in the salty, slightly spicy dressing. We moved on to the chicken shawarma in Lebanese flatbread. The chicken strips were well marinated, but a tad dry and sparse, and we wished that for the price, there could at least have been a sauce. After 10 minutes (roasting takes time, we were told), the lamb shishkebab with fries made its entrance. We stared agog at the monster portion—two skewers of grilled lamb chunks on a piece of Lebanese flatbread, garlic dip, a huge serving of fries and, for good measure, another piece of flatbread sealed in plastic. The meaty lamb chunks were fragrant and juicy, with just enough streaks of fat for flavor. Wanting to end the meal on a caffeinated note, we ordered Lebanese coffee and were pleasantly surprised when it arrived in a pretty copper pot perched on a copper tray, with a complimentary piece of baklava (filo pastry dessert with spices and nuts). The scrumptious butter-rich baklava had us itching for more, but we restrained ourselves as our actual dessert order of choco-nut halva had arrived. The sweet crumbly confection of ground sesame seeds and nuts streaked with chocolate was the perfect accompaniment to the coffee, which was less strong than an espresso but had lots more kick than a regular long black. As we left, we couldn’t decide if we would return for lunch, but thrilled at having discovered new desserts, began making plans for our next teatime visit.