** un-edited. Post first. :P

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If you know me well, i’m usually too busy to even blog my stuff, let alone, a review for a restaurant in a foreign country?!?

But yes, that’s exactly what i’m doing right now, a review for Maha Bar and Grill, on my own free will. (This is not a media invite)

WHY? You may ask.

Well, *shrugs*.. because the food is really good and it’s worth blogging about it even with no-standard(iPhone)-photos. :P

The gf and i wanted Vue De Monde initially, but alas.. reservation at VDM advance is needed, like a good couple of months, especially if you’re looking at dining on Friday or Saturday night. After combing through a short list of other restaurant reviews and menus, we decided on Maha, because it sounded pretty awesome for the price that we’d be paying. Uh huh, pretty affordable for a 9-10 course meal.

First up – drinks!

Gf’s : Turkish Delight
Mine : Pomegranate something something with Egg White. *giggles* Yeah, i forgot! It has been a few months already! But damn, this drink was gooood. It was so delicious, so so delicious that i almost ordered another, and another and another if not for my tight budget! If you do go, PLEASE, PLEASE, order this lip-smacking-good-drink please. If you don’t like it, come claim from Mama (read : me). I’ll reimburse you!

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So.

WHY THE HELL DOES THE COMPLIMENTARY BREAD DESERVE A SPACE IN THE WRITE UP TOO?

Because they were also SO DAMN GOOD that’s why.

We totally committed the very same boo-boo like (almost) all diners did (occasionally) which is, stuffing ourselves silly with complimentary bread. BUT. We’d very good reason. These breads were simply irresistible — i want their recipes!! You can’t stop at one each. In fact, i think we had 3 refills, with some gorgeously whipped butter no less! o.O

If you go, don’t say i didn’t warn you. Try sticking to 1 each okaaayyy? Oh alright, 2. 2 each and that’s that. Trust me and you won’t regret it, unless you can eat really a lot, like that guy in Man VS Food.

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Smoked Pork Hock Broth, Quail Eggs, Beans, Silverbeet : the broth was a tad salty otherwise, very flavourful! I finished every single drop and morsels.

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Corn fed chicken tagine, broken egg, corn bread, saffron, Iranian figs, sucuk oil : Again, impressive. Very well put together. Everything marries well with one another. If not for the limited stomach space, i would have loved to wipe clean the gravy with the corn bread. Yummeehh!

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John Dory fillet, raw greens, preserved lemons, mushroom cream, almond mayo : Fish was well executed. Juicy and all, but with the limited stomach space (yeah, the breads’ fault!), i could only ate 3 bites. Almond mayo didn’t leave much impression though.

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My customized swordfish course because erm, i refused to eat rabbit (just a personal preference though i’m no longer a pescetarian).

Verdict : not outstanding. I rather swordfish sashimi anytime.

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Gf’s rabbit loin, morels, angel hair, braised legs, peas, foie gras foam, hazelnut coco nibs bastilla, in case you wanna know how the rabbit dish looks like. :P

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Our table was all filled up, with the sides, the mains, the drinks, the breads, whoaa, so much food… At this point of time, we just stared at the table and sighed. How to go on? We both agreed that we were too greedy, way too greedy, to order the Sultans Menu instead of the Soufras but we soldiered on. Deep breaths in.. and we were ready again!

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Next up : 12 hour roasted mt leura lamb shoulder, pistachio and green olive tabouleh – to be honest, i’ve got zero impression on this one. All i know is that it wasn’t stinky, it wasn’t dry and we barely touched it. Too full!

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David Blackmore rib eye cap marble score 9+, honey, coriander seed, roast garlic parfait, shaved roots : Woohooooo, finally, the course that we’d been waiting for! David Blackmore’s rib eye!! Dear DB’s fans, don’t kill me please but i think it might be overrated? Slapping the steak with honey didn’t work for me. As for the steak, to quote my mother, Nothing special leh!

Sumac, tomato, cucumber, mint, leaves, roast garlic : complimentary salad but, mmmmmmMMmm.. it was good. After ingesting that much of meat, we welcomed this with open arms. If i remember correctly, i think we finished this. Teeheeeheeee!

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Peanut butter parfait, baklava crumb, salted caramel, chocolate sorbet, orange blossom foam : Let’s just put it this way, i whacked everything and wanted another.

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SO friggin’ good! Not exactly pleasing to the eyes, but trust me, detailed thoughts were put in into making this dessert. From the way the peanuts were stuck around the glass, all the way to the positioning of the foam, sorbet.. surprises abound at every turn as you hold the glass, eat, turn, eat, turn, repeat. So good.

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White chocolate and honey soufflè : i had many many bad relationships with soufflè, but gawddd, this one here, the very plain, boring looking one here, yup that’s right, this one, completely changed my mind about soufflè. I’m now a convert and i cannot wait to make my own soon. Needless to say, i too, finished this course. Dearest friends would know that no matter how stuffed i am, i’ll always have an extra stomach for desserts, just for desserts and nothing else. *wink*

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Thankfully it wasn’t that chilly that night like other nights where i’d shiver non-stop because all i had on was a LBD, stockings and a jacket — what’s with women and vanity right, sigh :P I know, can’t quite tell what i wore but oh well, i was merely showing off my new 4″ nude color heels, scored during one of the crazy sales i walked past when i was there. :D

Need i say some more?

Go to Maha and dine already!

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Maha Bar & Grill

21 Bond Street
Melbourne Vic 3000
Australia
t +61 3 9629 5900
f +61 3 9629 5911

http://www.mahabg.com.au/

* Quickie with iPhone

Saw this quote online and I really like it…

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And, Metscard will be in used till end of this year. After that, it’s the new Mykii card all the way. I’ll miss buying my tickets on the tram. :(

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Anyway.

We started our day with hanging out at Lygon St, which used to be our ‘playground’. I’m really a sentimental person so if you must, please excuse me and my nonsense. :p

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College Square, where we used to stay 12 years ago. *happy sigh* Some of the best months in my life were spent here. :))

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First stop : Koko Black @ Lygon St.

One of the few places in Melbourne that is well known for its hot chocolate and truffles. Hot chocolate ; methinks that there’s coconut milk in there! Really. That ‘santan’ taste, is definitely not subtle but I could be wrong of course. It’s rich and creamy no doubt but not my cuppa hot choc. Heh. But the flourless chocolate cake was omg. So light, fluffy and rich! We finished that within a minute can u imagine? Greedy goose us. Haha!

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Because of my silly boo boo, we had to drop by Melbourne Central to settle some stuff. Since we were there, I thought why not check out the Cupcake Central too?

I had (cos the boy wasn’t even a tiny bit interested) Vanilla, Salted Caramel and Chocolate Malt Milkshake. The cake was good, fluffy and not too sweet but the frosting, was another story altogether. It was wayyyyyy too sweet for me. When I told the gf about it, she recommended Cupcake Family which was supposed to be stingier with their sugar, opened by Indonesian.

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Next stop : Brunetti @ Lygon St.

Met up with Pick Yin and partner here for coffee. Initially, we weren’t in the mood for any cakes but since we were already here at Brunetti, might as well. Haha. (tell me, how not to grow sideways right?!) Perhaps we didn’t order the right cake or pastry but we both came to a conclusion, Brunetti is overrated, in our humble opinion.

At about 6ish, it was time for dinner. I was looking forward to it since the date was planned. We were meeting up with Anh, from A Food Lover’s Journal whom I’ve been reading since 2007! And of course, the fact that we would be having Pho Bo for dinner also played a part. Grin. It’s been 2 years since I had it.

Dinner at Pho Dzung – Russell St, was great! We had so much to talk, laugh and cringe (dog meat in Hanoi) about. *smile* Anh was lovely in person. It’s a pity that I will not be able to join the girls on Sunday. I’m sure they will have a blast!

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Because the night was still young (it was barely 8pm!), we decided to skip down to Lygon St again to have gelato. Yeah, are we mad or what right? Gelato in the middle of the winter night?!?! Lol! But it was great! It wasn’t so much about the ice cream, it was more for walking down the street and hanging out with the friends for a little longer. Gelato is so secondary!

And apparently we weren’t the only crazy ones having gelato at this time of the year, I mean, check out the queue man. Il Dolce Freddo is definitely something because I didn’t see any line formed at other gelato shops.

Looking back, Day 4 is no doubt ‘Sugar Day’, fueled by sugar, almost, and as sweet too!

* Quickie with iPhone

Breakfast : Hardware Sociètè @ Hardware St.

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Lighting was bad because I wanted to sit right next to the heater. Even the picture of me looked rather strange! Food was pretty good. We had scrambled eggs with chorizo from the breakfast menu and I managed to sample Pick Yin’s pork belly from the lunch menu.

Conclusion : Go for the lunch menu. Priced at the same price tag as the brekkie for all the items, lunch is value for money. But of course, if brekkie is what you’re looking for, by all means, go for it. I’m especially intrigued by their Deconstructed Cheesecake with Berries on brioche. It looked pretty and yummy!

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Next stop!

Queen Victoria Market.

To be honest, we didn’t do much here. I was there merely for old time’s sake. We managed to buy piping hot donut from the donut van though. The boy thought it was ‘cute’. Heh. I almost gotten myself a dozen of freshly shucker oysters if not for the boy who gave me his horror stare. ‘What?? Oysters at 1pm, mama?!?!’. FINE.

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From QVM, we walked all the way to Smith St. Yup, you read right. QVM to Smith St. I mean, why not? I’m not going anywhere in hurry and the weather was most pleasant. Along the way, there was much to see eg, the breathtaking St Patrick’s Church. So yeah, walking is the way to go for us though the boy opposed the idea totally. Lol!

Lunch : Huxtaburger @ 116, Smith St.

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Let’s just put it this way. It was so good that I ordered a second, a mini one that is. Together with the chipotle chips recommended by lovely Anh, lunch was fab!!

From Smith St, we walked all the way to Crown, passing by Fitzroy Garden to take a couple of pics of Melbourne’s famous icon – Cook’s Cottage.

Before calling a day, all that were needed was merely 15 minutes whilst walking to the tram stop for another (or two) accidental buy. Aiyo! :p But like I told Keropokman, they were ‘needs’, not ‘wants’. Haha!

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Because we were so pooped, dinner was a simple affair which we both love to bits. Heh!

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Junking away, together with the cheeses from De Bortoli Winery.

Bliss. :)

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