Catching up with the gang meant we could go wherever we please. Mr Burberry strongly suggested Shane Delia’s middle eastern one hatted restaurant – Maha. So of course I made the reservations for a Saturday night to indulge in good food. Maha is tucked away in an alley way and you wouldn’t even know it’s there unless you’re looking for it.
Mr D and I got there first and we went inside. When you enter the sliding doors, you take the stars down and Shane’s books are on display (also for sale as well). While I was distracted with the books, the lovely and patient staff asked for my reservation and directed us to a semi-private room (SCORE!). We were provided with drinkies and food menus and since we had a large party, we all had to choose the same set menu. As the rest of the gang trickled in slowly, we all finally decided to get the 5 course menu for $95 per head. I decided to be naughty and got the matching wine for another $65 (uh oh!). Anywho, as we chatted away, the wait staff came with a surprise dish – fried oysters! Miss Teeth and Miss Asian Fusion couldn’t eat oysters so they substitute it with some fluffy crispy what-chu-call it (I forgot what it was). The oysters was super AWESOME SAUCE. There was no oyster taste at all and the seasoning, oh my goodness it was HEAVEN!! If this isn’t even part of the banquet yet, I was super excited to see what the menu has to offer (EXCITED!).
The first course came out and it was the air dried beef with egg, ricotta and almond. The tip from the staff, mix the egg and ricotta in and that makes the sauce for the dish. This was very light and very smooth (like a smooth criminal) and it was so DELISH!! However, they had forgotten my first matching wine and when I brought it to their attention, they frantically rushed around to get it, PRONTO! They were also quite generous with the amount of wine and I wasn’t complaining.
David Blackmores Air Dried Beef, Egg, Ricotta, Almond
Poached chicken came out next and it was so buttery and the BBQ corn, oh so delish! I adored the crispy chicken skin, you don’t even feel fatty after having it. The chicken wasn’t dry at all which was a plus.
Butter and Saffron Poached Chick, Smoked Turkish pepper, Almond, Chicken skin, BBQ Corn
Next up, the pork scotch with hazelnut jus. The pork was cooked perfectly, so juicy and had a little kick to it due to the spice although, Mr D couldn’t taste the kick at all. The greens were crispy and oh so light that it just melts in your mouth. The onion dippies thing was quite onion-y but considering that I hate onions, I ABSOLUTELY loved it!
Spiced and Brined Pork Scotch, Preserved Lemon and Hazelnut Jus, Greens and Onions
When the first three courses came out, we were like “pfft we can handle all this”, and then the fourth course entered the arena (DUN DUN DUN!). Not only was it 4 courses in one, it was very filling at the same time. Let’s take a look at the magnificent spread.
Part 1 – the lamb shoulder. Now, I’m not a lamb person and when I had it, it still had a lamb-y taste. Census on the table – very tender, very soft and balanced well with the yoghurt and smashed radish.
12 Hour Roasted Lamb Shoulder, Garlic, Cumin, Coriander, Smashed Radish, Almond and Mint
Part 2 – Rockling with white bean puree and winter mushrooms. This was AMAZEBALL! The skin was crispy but the rockling itself was cooked perfectly. My favourite savoury dish of the night!
Rockling, White Bean Puree and Winter Mushroom Vine Leaves and Baharat
Part 3 – Cracked wheat pilaf, zucchini, olive and walnut.This was the very grainy as you’d expect but the flavours were oh so DELISH! I thought it was going to just be plain wheat but boy was I wrong! This will fill you up so make sure you get a lot of meat / fish into you first.
Cracked Wheat Pilaf, Zucchini, Olive & Walnut
Part 4 – the Fattoush salad which consists of tomato, mint,roast garlic and baked bread.This was super refreshing and very light in flavour which balanced out all other dishes in the Fourth course. Also, a plus side – it made us feel healthier (no need for gyming tonight yo!).
The fifth and final dish, dessert. The Milk and honey which was a honey parfait, milk ice cream, lemon curd and honeycomb. This was AMAZEBALL and an awesome dish to end the night. It was sweet but not overly sweet, it was sour but not overly sour, it was just everything good in the world shoved onto a plate and into your mouth.
Milk and Honey
At the end of the night, rose water was squirted (yes I used that WORD!) onto our hands and you just rub it in, leaving your hands smell like flowers. We were also given a packet of spices from Maha which they use to season their food so we could take it home and have a little bit of maha in our lives which I thought was very thoughtful and engaging (awesome marketing I might add).
Maha is the go to place if you want to try middle eastern flavours. Impeccable service and awesome sauce food (even fills you right up), it’s a great hidden gem. However, I didn’t find the matching wines to be as amazing as I thought it would be but I’ll definitely come back for the food. Of course, this place is off the hook (Told you I’m gangsta) so if you want a spot, make sure you call up and make sure you can get a spot. Maha, you can be my maha anytime.
21 Bond Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9629 5900
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