Feast of Merit
This breakfast, lunch and dinner venue sits in a warm, homely, shabby-chic setting — picture wholemeal-coloured napkins and stone tableware.
But its appeal is more than superficial — staff are some of the most welcoming we’ve encountered and the Middle Eastern food is inspired and moreish.
It is a split-level venue: if you want to sit in the light-filled front area, simply roll in, but if you prefer the quieter back area, with access to the AWC, you’ll need to let staff know. You’ll then enter via Dando Street, past the mural explaining the Feast of Merit story.
According to tradition in Nagaland, North Indian, a celebration in the form of a series feasts was provided by a wealthier member of the clan. The feast would run for days and fed everyone – the poor, underprivileged and sick – until the food was gone. The benefactor would then gain a certain respectful status, being appreciated evermore, even beyond death.
We come for lunch and try the Karnibahar, a fried cauliflower and chickpea dish, which got better the more we ate. The flavour of the underlying yoghurt and molasses sauce mixing with each mouthful. On the menu the Turkish ravioli, baby snapper with tabbouleh and roasted corn-fed chicken and couscous made the shortlist for our next visit.
The atmosphere is unfussy and relaxed, with a genuine focus on customer satisfaction. The photos of the (inaccessible) rooftop seem beautiful, especially at twilight.
Despite the lack of access to the wheelchair-friendly toilet from the lower front part of the venue, it remains one of our most recommended Swan Street venues.
Step-free via front and back (via Dando St - Ask Staff) / Accessible Toilet
Good: Genuine, positive humans
Not so: Could do with a ramp from the front area
Feast of Merit
117 Swan St, Richmond VIC 3121
(03) 9428 8480