Wednesday, June 6, 2012

maha bar and grill - melbourne

Photobucket roast young carrot and cardamon shourba, crunchy carrot, cous cous
grilled flat bread rubbed with zatar, muhummara
"shaved stuff” pickled, raw and dehydrated, seeds
fried baby eggplants, tahina hummus, aleppo pepper, corriander dressing
quinoa, grains, seeds and nuts, spiced lentil cigars
roast root vegetables, braised lentil malfour, nasturtium leaves, rice and truffle foam
silverbeet borek, forest mushrooms , hazelnuts, tarragon, pumpkin
Photobucket roasted and smashed little potatoes, olive oil, preserved lemon, fennel seeds
bbq corn, fig and corn bread tagine, almond, coriander
cherry salad with coconut sorbet
salted oats with poached pears and vegan vanilla cream

Marieke held a fund raising dinner for her friend Gen who is very unwell with cancer. Marieke has been such a champion of the blog and has always shown support and kindness to me so it was no brainer to go along to Maha and support her. 

I have a complex attitude towards Maha. I've been one more time since I posted this review and I basically still stand by the comments (though will add a few more). We had the private dining room which was lovely and was filled with lovely people, a lot of them vegan which was extra nice. We had the matching wines to the courses (all plates shown were share plates between 4 people) and we all had an extremely merry time.
As an 'experience' it cannot be faulted but the food leaves me searching for the right words I can't seem to find. 
There is obviously a lot of thought, effort and creativity in these dishes.  They are beautiful to look at, the staff are excellent, you can't fault the produce - but when I was trying to think of my favourite dish of the night I drew a blank. The food is perfectly nice but nothing stands out massively (for instance when I look at photos of MoVidas food I literally start salivating over my hands, when I look at photos of Maha's food it draws nothing out of me). It could be just lack of salt, I am a fiend and do not find Maha's food salty enough.

The dishes I did enjoy the most were the more traditional dishes of fattoush, borek and muhummara. The "shaved stuff" and cherry salad were the stand outs of the night. Both innovative and perfectly balanced in flavour and texture. The dishes that fell flat for me and had almost no flavour were the fried potatoes and spiced lentil cigars. Everything else was beige in the middle.

If you're after a long, languid dining experience Maha Bar and Grill could totally work for you. My recommendation in the same price range for mind blowing food is Gingerboy or MoVida.

deets: 21 Bond St, Melbourne (03) 9629 5900 web: maha bar and grill
$$: with matching wines (and also a fundraiser) the meal was $200

other voices, other times:
where's the beef?
nouveau potato


  1. oh my gosh what a truly spectacular meal!! that flat bread appetizer looks outrageously delicious! and so do those lentil cigars! thanks for sharing!

  2. I was really interested to see what turned up on your vegan menu! Even to look at the shaved stuff and cherry salad stand out, so it's interesting that they were your favourites - those two look like they come from a chef who gives a sh*t about vegan food.


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