Designed by Mills Gorman, Maha’s underground space is open, with the discrete dining spaces flowing into a communal dining room. A 12-seat communal table peers out onto the street, while a private dining room is set at the back. Expensive-looking carpentry ribbing runs from the fore to the aft.

The focus on relaxed comfort here means that drinks at the bar – or in the courtyard – are as delightful as a full-blown dinner. But this venue is best known for head chef Shane Delia. Certainly the Middle Eastern reputation for hospitality (with a kick from Delia’s Maltese heritage) is played out in full with ease and grace.

The dining options include two new set menus: the “fresh”, which comes in at $35, and the slightly higher-end “clean” menu, which adds some extra protein for $45.

Lunch menu items include slow-cooked lamb shoulder dressed in smashed radish and mint; cured scallops with orange blossoms; and a salad of iceberg lettuce and pumpkin seeds. For those after something a little more substantial, there’s the lamb burger – which, for $18, comes with a beer. Dinner choices range from a four-course “soufra” menu to a six-course tour of the Middle East, both of which combine shared plates and individual servings.

Maha

21 Bond Street, Melbourne

(03) 9629 5900

Opening Hours
12pm–3pm, 6pm–10pm

http://maharestaurant.com.au/