21 Bond Street
I’ve been wanting to visit Maha for a while. With my very Mediterranean heritage I was looking forward to see the flavours I grew up with presented in the fine dining arena. The Maha space is a sexy one. Your trademark dim lighting given character by a lot of warm colours and soft lines.
Service at Maha is reminiscint of the other Press Club property – Hellenic Republic. While not rude in any way, it’s definitely got a very prominent mercenary feeling about it. A pet peeve of mine was their constant recital of ‘Saha’ which they claimed was Arabic. It is not. It is Maltese. Regardless, it’s not really that big a deal.
The food was really great. The starting gin and tomato chai soup was standout. Rich, exciting and heartwarming. Though the ‘smoked bread w/ egg jamon and halva’ dish just wasn’t something that I enjoyed. I’m all for experimentation but halva with what would otherwise be a breakfast dish as a third course in a degustation just didn’t sit well with my palate.
Other dishes such as the Oyster kataifi, puffed and bbq corn salad, smoked almonds, tomato and sumac foam were brilliant. Though I felt as though this was a pretty ineffective way to use sumac. The foam tasted more strange than good. I’ve grown up with sumac, and it’s amazing with meats. As a foam I just wasn’t feeling it.
Other peeves included a menu listing of ‘green olive tabouli’ which in reality amounted to little more than a ‘garnish’ on the plate which didn’t add much to the dish. I was disappointed as I really think given a greater serving would have brought a lot of freshness to the what was otherwise a lovely rich and tender lamb dish.
Trademark Turkish delight donuts were good, but not exceptional. That dish could have done with a bit of acidity but was none the less enjoyable. The coconut tapioca dish w/mint granita was faultless and left you wanting an entire bowl. That, to my surprise, was definitely the better dessert of the night.
On the way out we received a little scroll ‘menu’ of our dishes that night and a box with a couple Arabic sweets. This is the kind of thing that I love. A little touch like that left us feeling even better about the experience.
Overall though it was a great experience with some really solid dishes. 15/20 – 75%.