Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Maha Bar and Grill, Melbourne CBD by Ruby Grapefruit

We came for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Restaurant Express Lunch and were very pleased that we did as the staff at Maha really showcased the quality of their food. A note to other restaurants: that’s the point of offering the Express Lunch deal – to get new customers in and entice them to return!

For those unfamiliar with the Express Lunch – it’s two courses, a glass of wine, and tea/coffee for $35. We’re more of a ‘cheap eats’ crowd so this is an opportunity to try restaurants we normally wouldn’t go to (except for special occasions). It really is a good deal but don’t expect to linger at lunch as most restaurants schedule two sittings.

One of the two entrees we could choose from was shredded chicken, bbq and puffed corn, smoked almonds and mayo. Big Fil was impressed by the dish and thought it was well balanced in terms of flavours and textures.

The other entrée of octopus stuffat consisted of a rich stew of sliced octopus underneath a perfectly cooked poached egg. This was covered with potato foam and sprinkled over the top was finely grated jamon (Spanish dry-cured ham). It tasted and looked amazing (at first we thought it was a dessert!).

The main course consisted of five shared mezze dishes. The 12 hour roasted lamb shoulder was tender but slightly lacking in flavour. Maybe the addition of a garlic yoghurt dip could have been enough to lift it. The grilled swordfish had a great lemony flavour but just a little overcooked. The fattoush salad was really lovely with crisp pieces of flat bread, mint, iceberg lettuce, and cucumber dressed with lemon and olive oil. The stand out dish was the very tasty pilaf.

For dessert one of the choices was a chocolate and pomegranate tart with mint ice cream. Big Fil really enjoyed it and thought the richness of the chocolate tart was balanced perfectly by the tartness of the pomegranate sauce.

The second choice for dessert was the Turkish delight filled doughnuts with roast almond ice cream. The doughnuts were light and drizzled with a lovely honey syrup. The addition of the Turkish delight filling is inspired.

We were very impressed by our lunch as all of the dishes were tasty and beautifully presented. The service was friendly and efficient and despite the time constraints we never felt rushed. The regular menu looks very enticing so I'm sure we will be coming back to try some of the other dishes.

Food - 9
Service - 8
Ambience – 8
Price – 8

21 Bond St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: 03 9629 5900

Maha Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon


best dining deals melbourne said...

Excellent blog thanks for this information

Shane Delia said...

Hi there Ruby Grapefruit,

I only just discovered your blog and your review of Maha… sorry, I'm a bit new to all this internet stuff! Slowly getting the hang of it though - I'm finally on Facebook and started a blog of my own!

Thanks for the great post, I'm glad you enjoyed your express lunch when you dined at Maha in March, 2011. Have you been back recently? So much has changed in the last year or so, I think we're delivering our best yet!

I'm wondering if you've considered coming along to the Problogger Food & Wine Blogger event I am hosting at Maha in a couple of weeks?

I'd love to see you back at Maha to see what we're going to plate up at this event! It's going to feature Darren Rowse (Problogger himself!) and three great speakers discussing their approach to food and wine writing. I'll be cooking up an exclusive three course Maha feast (some new dishes!) for everyone and there will be some great give aways for the best questions to the panel of speakers. I'd love to see you there?

Maybe your readers would be interested in coming with you? As a thank you for this post about Maha, I'd like to offer you and your readers a $10 discount off the normal ticket price for the event. Just use the promo code FOODIES when you register or share this with your readers.

Bring your video camera, maybe you can do a quick vox pop interview with me or Darren!

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