After a delicious meal at Maha a few years back, we had tried to eat at the conveniently-close-to-home Maha Bar for a while now. Two separate lockdowns ruined our plans, but we finally managed a visit a few weeks ago and it was well worth the wait! Here’s what we ate!
We were belatedly celebrating my dad’s birthday so went all out with the soufra and the added snacks ($80 per person). I went with the vegan version, but many of the dishes were shared across the meat soufra as well.
My snack plate consisted of a delicious pickled cucumber with vegan feta, bread with a salty tomato paste and topped with cheese, crunchy zucchini with pomegranate and mint and a leek bun with harissa. It was such an excellent start to the meal – crunchy, salty, spicy, sweet, all bases were covered. The leek bun was probably my pick of the bunch, but it was a close call!
My first course consisted of olives, hummus and tomatoes. The hummus and bread were so good I could have happily just eaten that all night! The hummus was smooth and creamy and topped with roasted carrots which added some incredible sweetness.
The bread was warm, fluffy and grilled to perfection. On the inside the bread was topped with za’atar which was seriously delicious. The ratio of bread to hummus was pretty much spot on too which is always important – nothing worse than having no bread left to mop up the dip!
The final dish of this course was these beautiful heirloom tomatoes with lemon, za’atar and whipped macadamia. They were as delicious as they were pretty and the textures provided by the other ingredients really brought this to life. We were off to an excellent start!
The next course started with a potato and capsicum dish, with onions and walnuts. It was a slightly smokey, very tasty dish that combined a few of my favourite vegetables. This was one of the dishes shared across both the vegan and meat soufra, so I had to begrudgingly share it with my parents!
The second dish that was shared across both soufra was this incredible combination of mushrooms served with almonds and yoghurt. The crunch of the toasted almonds on top was such a delicious addition to these amazing mushrooms. The combination of mushrooms was so good, and it’s safe to say this dish was well fought over by us as well!
My standalone dish for this course was these chickpea and garlic dumplings topped with lots of sumac. I had never tried dumplings like this before, but I really enjoyed them. Somehow they were simultaneously light but dense, creamy but firm. So interesting, but so good!
Somehow, we still had dishes to go! The final savoury course consisted of a summer fattoush salad and an aged rice dish (neither of which I photographed, I’m not sure why!), both of which were great. My main dish was these amazing lebanese eggplants with a chestnut crust, tahini and pekmez topped with pinenuts and pomegranate. The eggplant was crunchy on the outside and perfectly soft on the inside, with a well balanced creamy, sweet and salty sauce combination. The additions on top were perfect, and I was a very happy camper.
And now it was time for dessert! The staff at Maha Bar knew were there for a birthday so popped a sparkler in these turkish delight doughnuts which was a very sweet touch. The doughnuts themselves (which came with a deliciously creamy walnut ice cream) were sticky, sweet and delicious. The doughnuts were crunchy on the outside but nice and fluffy inside and were topped with crunchy walnuts. The combination of the doughnuts and the ice cream helped counterbalance the sweetness which made for a spot on dessert.
The last dish of our night at Maha Bar was this very pretty watermelon & jallab granita served with a yoghurt curd and ginger jelly. I particularly loved the ginger jelly, and it went so well with the more gentle watermelon and yoghurt flavours. This was such a great way to end an all round delicious meal.
It’s safe to say we had an excellent night at Maha Bar and would definitely go back. The staff were friendly and helpful, the food was delicious and we went home very full, but very happy!