“The Lygon Street venue has been a sanctuary for so many people, for so many years, but a new venue brings a fresh approach and chance to stretch creatively,” co-founder and chef Joseph Abboud says. He runs Rumi with wife Nat.
Opening this August on Bluestone Way, the updated restaurant will incorporate traditional Middle Eastern textures with terrazzo floors and patinaed walls, while retaining Rumi’s warm and comforting spirit, only “more gorgeous and exciting”, according to Nat.
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As for the menu, the same share-friendly favourites are all making the move: Persian meatballs; cheese cigars filled with haloumi, feta and kasseri; almond tarator (a dip made with tahini); advieh-marinated lamb shoulder; and fried cauliflower with caramelised onions, currants and pine nuts.
While the restaurant is taking this opportunity to switch off gas cooking for good, the all-important charcoal is being retained, to add signature smoke and char to dishes like chicken wings brushed with toum (garlic sauce).
Once they’re settled the Abbouds also plan to open a little 25-seat bar on site, for people seeking drinks before and after a film at EBV’s forthcoming cinema. The growing precinct will also be home to Beechworth operation Bridge Road Brewers’ first Melbourne brewery, with room for 350 punters.
Rumi will open at Bluestone Way, 127–149 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East, in August.