MELBOURNE | Just opened next to Maha, is the new venue from Shane Delia, Bar Jayda. I was recently invited to check it out and, being a fan of Shane’s other venues, of course I accepted. Bar Jayda follows in the footsteps of Maha and Maha Bar, but is very much it’s own thing. First and foremost, the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean spot is a bar, hitting it’s stride as the night goes on.
It leans into the building’s art deco heritage, with a moody low-lit atmosphere and Middle Eastern flourishes. There’s the main bar at the front, and a smaller, cosy lounge section at the back, hidden behind the kitchen.
Cocktails are a focus of the drinks list, with a menu designed by award winning mixologist Orlando Marzo. There’s the full range of Drinks by Loro cocktails (try the strawberry yoghurt negroni), and made to order creations like the Beirut Bellini. That one’s a tasty mix of bitter citrus aperitivo, pomegranate, rose, and sparkling wine. There’s also quality wines, beer, and spirits.
On the food front, it’s snacks and a few more substantial dishes. A rotating selection of familiar favourites from Shanes other venues and new creations. Casual food that’s all designed to be eaten with your hands.
On the snacks side, it’s things like the kingfish, finger lime, and taramasalata tart; beef borek bun with turmeric, tamarind, and coconut, and Aleppo pepper lamb cigaras. All delicious.
On the ‘more’ side, you’ll find one my favourite things on the menu. It’s the ‘after-service sandwich’, an evolution of a dish that Maha staff created to enjoy as a staff meal. It’s 12 hour smoked lamb shoulder, including all of the caramelised bits of lamb from the roasting trays, inside a fluffy and flaky pastry casing, with lamb jus for dipping. A hands down must order that’s every bit as good as it sounds.
Bar Jayda is certainly from the same family as Maha and Bar Maha, but is more Mediterranean leaning than its siblings. With great food, drinks, and vibe, it’s a great addition to the family.
19 Bond Street
Tue – Sat: 5:00pm to 1:00am