This week we decided to collaborate on a series of images with our very close Lygon street neighbors - the wonderful Lebanese restaurant, Teta Mona. So many lovely moments have been had and shared in this cosy and very charming restaurant; from staff party takeaways, to post-shift eat ins, it has been our faithful go-to - leaving us more than satisfied every time!
For those that haven’t been, Teta Mona serves a combination of modern and old school Lebanese food - using only the most fresh, organic ingredients to create dishes that are both healthy, and designed to connect to the soul on deeply delicious levels. Run by twin brothers Bechara and Antoine Taouk with younger sister Teresa as front of house manager. It truly is a family affair, with the brothers first job being at 13 with their Giddi (grandfather) Bechara at Cedar Bakery in Preston. After Bechara sold his business to his son (the brother's uncle George), Antonie says "we had the chance to make our own mark in the hospitality industry with the idea of offering something that was missing - authentic village style cooking just like grandmas house, Lebanese Soulfood!”
The brothers make food infused with love, just as their Grandmother did for them - her cooking served as inspiration and instruction for their now very well known and loved restaurant (aptly named after her; Teta is grandmother in Lebanese and Mona is her name) The image of her younger self - when she had first arrived in Australia from Lebanon in the 1950’s - adorning the front windows in black and white.
With BYO license and generous seating, it is the perfect place to take a group of friends for a lively catch up or possibly to gather your family for an important birthday…with their generous banquet options - it almost makes it a must! For our shoot they prepared some classic dishes for us including the incredible Fattouch Salata, which is one of the most popular dishes at Teta Mona - as well as being a staple dish in any Lebanese home throughout spring/summer due to its fresh, crisp and tangy favour. The boys were generous enough to share the recipe with us, so you can wow your dinner guests this weekend! (See recipe below)
Styled by the effervescent Pixie McElroy and shot by talented Izzie Austin these images highlight the beauty in detail - how the light falls to make a dish that even more mouth watering, and the lushness of a chain necklace, or special signet ring resting on soft fabric.
Scroll for inspiration...details are important and the beauty in them can always be found if you look closely enough…
Photography by Izzie Austin & Styling by Pixie Mc Elroy
Words by Gussie Vinall Richardson & Layout by Shelby De Fazio