Bar Saracen, Melbourne CBD

[content_slider]

[content_slide]

bar saracen melbourne cbd

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

bar saracen melbourne cbd

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

bar saracen melbourne cbd

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

bar saracen melbourne cbd

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

bar saracen melbourne cbd

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

bar saracen melbourne cbd

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

bar saracen melbourne cbd

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

bar saracen melbourne cbd

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

bar saracen melbourne cbd

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

bar saracen melbourne cbd

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

bar saracen melbourne cbd

[/content_slide]

[/content_slider]

MELBOURNE | I first visited Bar Saracen in July last year for a special event focusing on Lebanese Mexican fusion food (think tacos al pastor and the like), and it was one of my most memorable meals of 2019. I knew I had to get back to the restaurant to try their regular menu, and I finally did in January this year.⁣

Bar Saracen is from Joe Abboud (Rumi, The Moor’s Head) and Ari Vlassopoulos (ex Pei Modern, Hellenic Republic) and describes itself as a restaurant “of Middle Eastern appearance. The space is small and low lit, with decorations and posters that match the theme, but not in a way that feel kitsch.

Chef Tom Sarafian (ex Rumi, Petersham Nurseries, St John Restaurant) is in the kitchen, and puts contemporary and creative spins on Middle Eastern favourites. The food is rooted in history and culture, yet thoroughly modern. The menu features and array of meze and larger dishes, and a few desserts. Choosing what to order is hard as everything is as delicious as it sounds.
⁣⁣
To start, order the fried okra. Based on a Persian style recipe from Iran, the okra is sliced in half and covered with a salt layer to extract the slimy juices. It’s then covered in chickpea flour and deep-fried. Bite sized morsels of delight.

The hummus is one of the highlights. It’s silky smooth, served with a herbaceous spanner crab and prawn mix in the centre. Scoop up a bit of everything with the warm, Egyptian style khorasan pita pockets and you’re in heaven.
⁣⁣
The Basque gilda are another must order. Named after a passionate character played by Rita Hayworth they’re a delightful fusion of sweet, salty, and sour flavours, courtesy of white anchovies, pickled green chillies, and green olives. Also order the chicken kebab. Supremely tender pieces of chicken with pickled green chilli and a big garlic hit.
⁣⁣
If you’re a seafood fan, you have to order the fish fatteh. The traditional Levant dish is a balanced medley of BBQ rainbow trout with walnuts, pine nuts, toasted pieces of flatbread, labneh, chickpeas, tahini, and spices. Its all of the flavours, all of the textures, and is wonderful.

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, pineapple sorbet filed with arak and basil oil is refreshing and unique. Also worth trying are the cheese mamool – a modern take on the classic Lebanese semolina shortbreads filled with Meredith goats feta and house made fig & sesame jam. There’s also the moist and tasty Moro yoghurt cake. It was first made famous by London restaurant Moro, and is now found around the world at restaurants whose kitchen’s are headed up by that restaurant’s alumni (of which Sarafian is one).

The drinks here are also fantastic. The wine list is thoughtfully curated, with an assortment of local and imported wines covering a variety of styles familiar and unfamiliar. There is, of course, arak, along with cocktails that range from the classics to humorously named bespoke creations that take their cues from the menu. The negroni here is fantastic, but make sure you try the Habibi On Holiday, or if you want a surprise, the Moscow Mueller Report, the ingredients of which have been “redacted” from the menu.
⁣⁣
Bar Saracen is one of those places where you can’t go wrong no matter what you order. A real Melbourne gem.

Bar Saracen

22 Punch Lane
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone: (03) 8639 0265
E-mail: [email protected]
Website

Open
Tue – Fri: 12:00pm to 11:00pm
Sat: 5:30pm to 11:00pm

Bar Saracen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

RELATED ARTICLES
Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

RECENT POSTS

Full Moon Fever, Abbotsford

What To Eat In Hawaii

Snack Man, Fortitude Valley

- Advertisment -

STAY CONNECTED

13,126FansLike
104,113FollowersFollow
8,019FollowersFollow
35,206FollowersFollow
95SubscribersSubscribe