Maha, Melbourne CBD

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MELBOURNE | Maha opened in 2008, and over the last 11 years famed chef and television personality Shane Delia’s restaurant has continued to evolve. At its heart, Maha serves up contemporary Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food that’s inspired by Delia’s Maltese heritage and beyond. I visited Maha a few years back and loved it, and was recently invited to try some of the new dishes on the restaurant’s lunch menu.

The space, which was refreshed in 2018, is dark, stylish and intimate. Graphics and designs from local artists Adnate and Caleb Walmsley adorn the restaurant’s walls and more, while wood and fabric furnishings help warm the main dining room, and the private dining room to the side.

The food at Maha is fresh, vibrant, and inventive, and features familiar flavours prepared and presented in both familiar and unfamiliar ways. For lunch, it’s a selection of meze, sides, small, and large plates, along with the option of a two, four, or six course tasting menu. For dinner, it’s a six or eight course tasting menu on offer. My group was treated to an assortment of dishes from all parts of the menu and everything was delicious. There were, however, a few dishes that particularly stood out.

The street market charred corn with smoked almonds, saffron, and salted ricotta is fantastic, with a beautiful texture and salty, roasted notes. The slightly smoky chemen (fenugreek) cured kingfish with urfa biber, preserved lemon, and chives is also delightful. Another highlight is the toasted bread crumbed eggplant, topped with tahini, pomegranate seeds, amd pekmez.

For a meaty option, the beef shish kebab served with grilled corn pita, roasted peppers, and green harissa, is fantastic. It’s designed so you can portion the components up in your pita and then wrap it like a kebab. It’s very reminiscent of tacos al pastor, a dish that evolved when Lebanese immigrants arrived in Mexico and fused together flavours and ingredients. There’s also the popular slow roasted lamb shoulder with garlic & cumin, pomegranate, and smoked almonds

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, it’s hard to go past the restaurant’s signature Turkish delight doughnuts with rosewater honey and roasted walnuts, but I highly recommend trying the olive oil and spiced syrup soaked semolina cake, with pear & saffron jam, chickpea ice cream. It’s a dessert that took me back to my childhood, when my grandmother used to make a similar cake. Having said that, Turkish delight always takes me back to memories of my grandparents too. Order both.

For drinks, it’s an extensive selection of house cocktails, local and imported wine and craft beer, and spirits. Try the simply named and deliciously tart and sweet ‘Pomegranate’, which combines Pama pomegranate liqueur, vanilla vodka, lemon, egg white, and cherries.

Maha

21 Bond Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9629 5900
E-mail: [email protected]
Website

Open
Mon – Sun: 12:00pm to 10:00pm

Maha Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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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.

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