The Top Middle Eastern Restaurants In Melbourne, Australia

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Jamal Ben Haddou

Beyond the plethora of kebab shops in Melbourne, you can find dozens of restaurants serving some of the city’s best Middle Eastern cuisine. From Turkish to Moroccan, the collection of Middle Eastern restaurants in Melbourne is greatly diverse, catering for all appetites. Here are the best. Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

Maha

Egg kofte and saffron custard

Headed by celebrity chef Shane Delia, Maha redefines traditional Arab food with a modern twist. Undergoing a massive renovation in 2015, the restaurant’s now stylish and contemporary setting offers a fine-dining experience with traditional Arabian vibes. Maha takes an unrestricted approached to recreating Middle Eastern flavors. Mains include a 12-hour roasted lamb shoulder as well as local barramundi served with asparagus and lemon yogurt. Refreshing drinks induce saffron and pomegranate infused cocktails as well as Arabic coffee martinis. The hugely popular burger range also puts a modern, Aussie twist on traditional Middle Eastern flavors.

Arabesque

Kofte

Specialising in Moroccan, Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine, Arabesque caters for all appetites. The wide range of mezze dishes and banquets encourages sharing, which is perfect for groups and families. Arabesque features gold and red fabrics draped across the tables and ceiling, radiating the vibes of a sultan’s palace. There is a strong focus on traditional and modern Turkish recipes. Hearty mains include classic favorites such as shish lamb and kofte. Refreshing Moroccan mint tea or a Turkish baklava cocktail are ideal to complement a delicious meal.

Rumi

With Farsi calligraphy adorning its walls, Rumi pays homage to Persian culture and flavors. While there is a strong focus on Persian and Lebanese cuisine, Rumi incorporates the wider and ancient flavors of the Middle East and Mediterranean. There is a wide range of fresh meals perfect for vegans, vegetarians and lovers of meat. The slow-roasted spiced lamb shoulder marinated with sirkanjabin is a signature dish and perfect to satisfy the biggest of appetites.

Téta Mona

For hearty, home-cooked Lebanese meals, Téta Mona is hard to miss. This restaurant prepares wholesome village food just like a Lebanese teta (grandmother) would at home. This homely space offers an array of traditional and simple Lebanese dishes, including falafel, hummus and spiced lamb. The cigara bi lahem is an iconic dish of cigar shaped lamb pasties served with a crisp salad and cool yogurt.

Zaatar

This compact restaurant offers one of the most popular Middle Eastern treats — Zaatar. Made of sesame seeds, oregano and other spices on flat bread, this loved dish is almost the Lebanese equivalent of vegemite on toast. The simplicity of this dish is what makes it so widely used, as it goes well with dips, salads or on its own. Zaatar restaurant also offers a wide range of Lebanese pizzas, dips and salads ideal for brunch or a light dinner.

Balha’s Pastry

Baklava

Selling more than 6000 baklava in ten different varieties daily, Balha’s Pastry is easily one of Melbourne’s best Middle Eastern restaurants to satisfy a sweet tooth. Everything is made fresh daily in this family-run restaurant, which doubles as a sweet shop. Besides its famous baklava, Balha’s offers over 40 traditional Lebanese biscuits, pastries, cakes and desserts. If choosing among this huge range is difficult, knafeh and znoud al-syit are popular favorites not worth missing. Balha’s Pastry is also renowned for producing great Middle Eastern varieties of coffee.

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