The original team behind Cafe Zum Zum, Amal and Geoff Malouf, has returned. But the signage on the Rathdowne Street shopfront now reads ‘Malouf’s Zum Zum’.
The Malouf first bought the Middle Eastern venue with friends in 2001. But four years later, despite the business doing well, Geoff sold his share to move to another opportunity – that being Mamaganoush on Chapel Street.
The couple took back ownership of the restaurant with some fresh colour, mosaics and a huge new lantern hanging from the centre of the room. But this time it’s Amal’s baby and she’s busy heading up both the kitchen and front of house.
With some help from her brother-in-law Greg, chef at Momo, she put up a lighter menu that retains some Cafe Zum Zum favourites, such as mezze from selak (silverbeet rolls with rice and broad beans in a hot yoghurt sauce), tabouleh with young cos leaves to falafel with tahini, marinated feta and dukkah. New dishes include a slow cooked lamb shoulder with baharat spices and pumpkin, as well as a duck fatteh (twice-cooked duck with chickpeas and almond rice) and a sweet vanilla yoghurt pannacotta.
Food can be enjoyed with Lebanese and Turkish beer, or homemade lemonade with orange blossom – sweet and sour, perfect to complement the dishes.