Birthday Dinner at Maha

Oh no. I know what some of you are thinking – I’m posting about the boyfriend’s birthday and I haven’t even posted about my own birthday from late last year yet woops. Oh well ..I’ll get to that eventually, I promise haha!

So, for Ashley’s actual birthday, I took him out for some amazing Middle Eastern cuisine at Maha Restaurant.
Run by the popular chef, Shane Delia (that my mum excitedly announced she loves watching on TV!) I was betting on the food to be delicious! It was one sleepless night that I was scrolling through Urbanspoon that I had stumbled across Maha – now with my boyfriend’s second favourite cuisine being Middle Eastern, I was so incredibly stoked to have found such a highly reviewed restaurant that I booked it instantly (a month+ in advance). ¬†And I was not wrong to have done so!!!

A complimentary cake for the boyfriend from the amazing staff! 'Mabrook' means celebration!

Upon arrival, we were met with an amazing ambience filled with laughter, low-key music and detailed interior.
After being ushered in to our seats by our lovely waitress, we took a look at the menu and picked the ‘4 Course Soufra’ straight away! (I pre-picked this, but I gave Ashley some choice just in case my assumptions were wrong!)

With hardly any time to spare, our drinks arrived with the first  course shortly following after.
The waiter who brought out the food kindly explained each dish and the components inside them. He also explained exactly how each parts were meant to be eaten and with which other component on the table! Not to be rude, but I found it hard to concentrate on what he was saying when the aroma of the dishes were making me salivate!!

Smoked hummus, lamb, cashew, cumin seeds; Almonds local olives, maltese fel fel; 'Aegean coast' wild greens and beach bananas, oyster cream, pork crackling; Chemen cured salmon, tahini potato salad, spring onions

I think Ashley would agree with me that everything in this first course was absolutely delicious. From the hummus to the salmon, everything was so divine that I’m fairly sure we licked those plates clean (save the olives). The second course came out with hardly any wait between; and after our delectable first course, we were super excited!

Zucchini falafel, almond, handmade haloumi; and radish 'manti' turkish dumplings, garlic yoghurt, dried mint, aleppo pepper

I apologize for the badly taken photo! But when the menu said ‘turkish dumplings’ I was not expecting this!! I don’t know how to describe it but it was probably one of the best things I’ve ever tasted in my life and ..not going to lie, but I really want to eat some right now. The other dish was falafels which whilst I’m not a huge fan of, Ashley is quite an expert of. He pretty much told me that these falafels were cooked perfectly and were delicious, so there you go. We were both happy to eat our respective favourite dishes so this was another course that we were both swooning over.

Oh, I should also mention that throughout the night, our lovely waitress would pop by every once in awhile to see if we were alright. She even got to hear the secret about Ashley’s birthday presents whilst he was off in the toilet hehe.

12 hour roasted lamb shoulder, sumac, garlic, green olive tabouleh; Corn bread crumbed sardine fillets, carrot and cumin, preserved lemon, flaxseed; Cracked wheat pilaf, barberry, date, almond; Fattoush, caramelised garlic, tomato, cucumber

I’m not going to lie, but by the time this came out I was actually pretty full (I get full easily okay! haha)
The star of this course was definitely the 12 hour roasted lamb shoulder, the pieces were tender and went beautifully with the pilaf. Now, unfortunately, the only thing that ruined this course was the sardine :( Neither Ash or I are huge fans of fish, but the taste of this was just too strong for our liking. Sadly to say, it was left uneaten. However, I really do feel like that was due to our personal preferences and other people who enjoy sardines more than us would’ve loved it.

Turkish delight filled doughnuts, honey, roast walnut ice cream; Mastic pudding, rosemary pearls, chocolate soil, blackberry sorbet; Watermelon and beetroot, peppermint crisp ice cream, rosewater ice

I was so excited for this course to come out, especially after all the reviews I read about the famous Turkish delight filled doughnuts!! And those reviews were right on their mark; the doughnuts were all sorts of mouth-watering deliciousness! I wanted to steal Ash’s! Not going to lie, but the other desserts pale a bit in comparison but are definitely not to be overlooked! The Watermelon rosewater ice was refreshing and sweet; whilst the Mastic pudding was a very different yet pleasing experience. The flavours all came together very nicely and made me a very happy dessert lover :D !

As you can see from first picture, the lovely staff at Maha also surprised us with a complimentary birthday cake!
Our expectations were definitely met with the impeccable food and service. There is no doubt that we will be returning back to Maha in the nearby future – they even do a beer+burger lunch so I’m so excited for this!

Maha Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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