It’s Middle Eastern, but not as you know it.
Maha takes the flavours, tastes and textures of the beautiful and rich region and gives them a contemporary twist, redefining the cuisine and offering a complete sensory experience that will inspire and delight.
Celebrated chef, Shane Delia, the man with the grand grin, has been lighting up kitchens since he was 15. Inspired by the idea of sharing food with his loved ones – especially his wife, Maha, he opened his flagship restaurant bearing her name in 2008. Taking a fresh approach to Middle Eastern cuisine, the critically-lauded restaurant has taken out one Good Food Guide Chef Hat every year since 2009. Shane’s other passion projects, hip-hop-inspired ‘Kbab’ restaurant Biggie Smalls and the SBS television program Spice Journeys may have diversified his offering but Maha is still where his most refined culinary expressions take place.
Shane wanted to create a space where he could experiment with Middle Eastern flavours without restriction and bring the Maltese passion and soul of his forefathers into the food. The result is an intimate venue that offers a menu inspired by the passion and beauty of the historic region.
You’ll find flavour galore on the set menus; choose from either two, four, five and six courses, for both lunch and dinner. There’s also a weekday burger and beer lunch special for those a er midday pick-me-ups.
Dinner offerings are elegant and flavoursome, taking customers on a sensory journey from entree through to dessert. Expect to start with dishes like local olives with fel fel; chemen-cured sword fish with Kewpie mayo, preserved lemon and shallots; and smoked potato and eel soup with black garlic, almonds and leek, before moving onto the larger dishes.
At this point, your tastebuds will be treated to a complex combination of spices, fruits, grains and proteins, with options including saffron chicken tagine with Iranian figs, Lebanese couscous and coriander, to aromatic lamb shoulder with coriander, cumin, walnuts and pomegranate. There’s also a host of vegetarian and vegan options for those that way inclined.
An experience at Maha is not complete without dessert, and with options like Turkish delight-filled donuts, why wouldn’t you indulge? Other choices include peppermint crisp ice cream with pomegranate crème, semolina, chocolate and a pine nut crumb; and a flavoursome spiced black sesame cake with tahini, wild orange ice cream and candied grains.
Each dish can be matched with a beer, wine or Arak – a traditional Middle Eastern anise-flavoured spirit – by talented Sommelier, Ross Frame. The impressive drinks list also includes a range of cocktails, which includes Maha’s favourite drink, the Pomegranate Sour – a concoction of pomegranate liquor, vanilla vodka, lemon juice, egg white and cherries.
These exciting food and drink creations are served in an architecturally designed space. After undergoing a magnificent makeover in 2015, Maha is more striking than ever. The sub-basement space features pendant lighting, artwork by local graffiti artists and geometric copper furniture.
Maha is a complete sensory experience, where Shane celebrates the best elements of the Middle East. It continues to be more than just a place to eat, offering a multi-layered experience to all who pass through its doors.