Middle Eastern fare with soul in the heart of Geraldton.
It only took one meal for Geraldton locals to want to claim chef Nadem Turkia as one of their own. The former refugee cooked up the local lamb and immediately Geraldtonians had raised the funds to help him open his own space: a light-filled diner tucked next to the iconic sandstone cathedral, which glows by night. One meal and he never went back to the Northern Territory, and at the time of writing is yet to go to Perth.
Turkia is from Jordan, with Syrian heritage, so think bold uses of herbs and a love of chickpeas, but more to the point, a love of place.
Locals don’t want to share his shakshuka or beans cooked in tomato with tahini for brunch, or his Middle Eastern pizza with za’atar for lunch, they want them all to themselves. Turkia is from Jordan, with Syrian heritage, so think bold uses of herbs and a love of chickpeas, but more to the point, a love of place. Laian’s food pays homage to the incredible local lamb of the Southern Rangelands (in kofta and more). To the seafood of the nearby Abrolhos Islands (pink snapper with creamy freekeh, perhaps). Or the famed tomato and cucumbers and capsicum of Western Australia’s oft-overlooked Mid-West coast, perhaps acting as a bed for crisped squid on rocket salad. This is inspired food, from a chef who cooks from the heart. No wonder Geraldton has embraced him.