Story and photos S Davey
Egyptian-born Fady Soliman – his place has juice!
There’s an eatery at the downtown end of Jonson Street that ticks all of the juicy boxes: it is appealing, satisfying and substantive and it’s called Juicy. Juicy is a light and airy eat-in or takeaway place that serves tasty Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food as well as freshly squeezed juices.
Opened by Egyptian-born Fady Soliman and his Australian-born wife Caroline Soliman, Juicy’s menu reflects a fusion of both cultures and gives some great flavour combinations. Rather than offering, for example, all vegan or heavily meat-based options with little vegetarian or gluten-free choices, the Solimans have created a menu that makes eating within personal requirements easy and tasty.
The menu is presented as protein plates, vege/vegan plates, pockets and sides as well as smoothies, shakes and juices. The plates are generous, fresh and flavoursome. The Crispy Cauliflower and Mushies plate is served with crispy kale, hummus and a choice of three salads. All of the elements were enjoyable; the tabouli is made with quinoa, which makes it protein packed and gluten free; it was fresh and delicately seasoned.
Even though I am not usually a fan of coleslaw, Juicy’s had a lovely, tangy, moreish element to it. A highlight is the chicken, which is marinaded overnight in herbs, spices and oil, then it is cooked over charcoal that infuses a wonderful flavour into the food, all of this makes for a really delicious dish. The other meat proteins include Lamb Kebab Kofta served with tzatziki or fried prawns served with harissa aioli.
Other plant-based options include charred eggplant that comes with pickles, capsicum hummus and salads; a haloumi plate served with crispy kale, beetroot hummus and salads. If you’re a garlic lover, Juicy’s garlic sauce will knock your socks off! If you want something a little subtler their hummus is smooth and creamy. Among other dishes are Teeta’s (Grandmother’s in Egyptian) baked pasta, Koshary, and I spied some stuffed capsicums that will be on my menu next time… I’m also keen to try the pomegranate aioli.
The pockets have combinations of a lot of these ingredients, and at $7 they make a great-value healthy and tasty meal. The smoothie and juice menu has some really well-considered flavour combinations: the Arabian Dream uses coconut water or nut milk with strawberry, banana, bee pollen, mint and rosewater. There are also housemade Middle Eastern sweets such as baklava to finish off the meal.
This place has juice literally and figuratively – the service is quick and friendly and the menu is varied enough to satisfy everyone in the group or family and it is great value with heaps of freshness and flavour. Look out for Juicy-made jars of goodies like pickles and dukkah that Juicy hopes to launch in coming weeks into the retail market.
Juicy, 3/93 Jonson St, Byron (opposite The Cellar bottleshop)
Ph 6680 8218