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“Best Christmas feast ever!”
Review of Maha

Maha
Ranked #7 of 4,043 Restaurants in Melbourne
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $23 - $47
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Romantic, Large groups, Business meetings
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: Central Business District
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Best Christmas feast ever!”
Reviewed December 25, 2013 via mobile

Have been here many times and have always found Maha to be possibly the best overall dining experience I have ever had and Christmas lunch was no exception. Beautifully conceived and presented food and wine served perfectly. A big thank you from all my family!

Helpful?
Thank Carlo D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShaneDelia, Owner at Maha, responded to this review, December 26, 2013
Hi Carlo,
Thanks again for your kind words. I appreciate you posting your reviews and I look forward to welcoming you back for another memorable meal at Maha.
Thanks
Shane
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,227 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wodonga, Australia
Level Contributor
158 reviews
128 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Sensational from start to finish”
Reviewed December 24, 2013

Christmas lunch at Maha has been one of hte most memorable meals I've ever had. Five courses, with matched wines optional. Too many details to include in one short review, so some highlights: pumpkin and kishik soup - delicate flavours to get the taste buds opening up. First entree - fresh oysters with salt and vinegar pearls and haloumi filled zucchini flowers (my favourite); second entree - salmon basterma, lentil dumpling with yoghurt, sumac, mint and aleppo (amazingly light with beautiful flavours); main - 12 hour slow roasted lamb shoulder, roast snapper, incredible roast potatoes; dessert (amazing that we had room for dessert - but we did) - compressed watermelon with mint ice and yoghurt sorbet; honey curd, caramelised white choc chip ice cream; and turkish delight filled doughnuts (possibly the highlight of the meal). Portion size was perfect for all 4 of us to sample each dish but not so big we were overly full at the end. The staff were wonderful, especially given that they were working Christmas Day so that we could eat out. I'm very grateful to them for helping us to have such a memorable day. The wine matching with each course was perfect. It was a quite expensive meal, but worth every single dollar. I would absolutely recommend this restaurant and look forward to having the opporuntity to come here again.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Ellyn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShaneDelia, Owner at Maha, responded to this review, December 26, 2013
Hi Ellyn,
Firstly, thank you for celebrating Christmas with us at Maha. I am so thrilled that your Christmas lunch was one of the most memorable meals you've ever had! I will be sure to pass on your comments to my team. Thanks for taking the time to post your review, I appreciate it.
Thanks
Shane
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Average fodder in a war Zone”
Reviewed December 24, 2013 via mobile

Join a holding pattern at the bar with other likewise unfortunates whilst waiting for your reserved table to become free. Perhaps you would like one of our outrageously priced cocktails?

Finally seated and Look up to see plaster repair work and unfinished ceiling repairs. The ambience of the night is on the wane.

Maha promises delightful Middle Eastern food like nothing you've tasted before. It was like no middle eastern food, I have tasted in the Middle East or similarly badged restaurants around Australia. Traditional flavours and delights have somehow been lost with Maha's "innovative approach" far from innovative and at best a fusion that has lost its way.

We saw some semblances ancient cuisine and fine dining. But this was totally destroyed by sloppy kitchen practise including beet root skin in one dish large enough and tough enough to patch a shoe. The Shisha Room vents into a corridor that unfortunately flooded the section of the restaurant we were seated at just as the final plates arrived. There were raised eyebrows, exchanged glances and frowns on several surrounding tables. Some might coin the atmosphere loud and buzzy, for me it was simply a venue in need of the services of an acoustic engineer to design out some of the noise. With unfinished ceiling repairs and now smoke, we wondered whether we were in a middle eastern war zone.

Overpriced and underwhelmed, the experience was too far removed from the well marketed claims for us to give this place a second chance.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Farquar_Gourmet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShaneDelia, Owner at Maha, responded to this review, December 29, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share with me and the rest of the world your opinion of my restaurant. Firstly, I appreciate you taking the time to raise a few of your concerns with me. The only way we can continually improve our craft is by both the positive and negative feed back from our loyal and supportive customers. I would of course have liked you to direct your concerns solely to me so then I could have had this discussion with you personally, but seeing as you have taken the time to come into my house and cast judgment and publicly express your disappointment I suppose I have to show you the same respect and reply publicly.

Regarding the repair work in the ceiling, so we could have had an air-conditioned environment for you and our other guest to dine in, we had technicians working right though the night to repair a major structural break down in our air-conditioning system. In fact, the technicians only left 30 minutes before we opened the doors for dinner. As the weather was scheduled to be quite unpleasant I wanted to ensure we did all we could to create a pleasant atmosphere for you. As the plaster was still wet we could not paint it in time. I am terribly sorry. Please forgive me for the break down and the wall patch in the roof not being painted. All repairs are now done and it is one colour. I hope the exposed plaster did not change the flavour of your meal too significantly.

As for the quality and the style of food, well I can't really give you any feedback other than I'm sorry that our style of food wasn't to your liking. It is what it is and it will stay the same. I can suggest a few "more traditional" Middle Eastern venues that may be more to your taste.

As for the ambient noise in our restaurant… we have sound absorption panels in the ceiling, carpet on the floors and very minimal untreated hard surfaces on the walls. So enough said I think. We are a busy venue. People come here to have a good time, laugh and be happy. That causes noise. I'm sorry if it wasn't to your liking. Can I suggest that if you are after a "quieter" night Monday to Wednesday evenings are less busy and we could next time (if you ever decided to come in again) seat you away from other diners to have a more intimate experience. Please let our restaurant team know and they will do all they can to ensure this happens.

Overpriced cocktails? I think our beverage menu is on par with the majority of similar venues in Melbourne, once again I can suggest some more suitably priced venues if you would like me to.

I will apologise for us seating you late to your table. If you have a booking at a certain time them we should do all we can to seat you at that time. Unfortunately there are a vast number of uncontrollable issues that may arise that inhibit us from 100% of the time seating people at their table on the minute their booking is made for. I am terribly sorry again. I do not know what happened in your situation but this shouldn't happen. And as for the smoke in the shisha room…. shisha pipes do make a little smoke, I'm sorry.

Finally let me just say I truly am very sorry that you have had such a disappointing experience with us. My team and I do try to go above and beyond to ensure all of our guests have the best experience possible. It is a huge let down when we miss the mark. I feel I have addressed all of your comments to the best of my ability. Maybe Maha just isn't for you. Which is fine, we are not all the same. But one thing that is universal is respect and manners. I don't think you would like me to come into your home or place of work and share my negative critique to the world.

We all have families to feed you, my staff and me. A little more respect would be appreciated before you publicly trash our passion and livelihoods behind your keyboard where it is safe and no one knows who you are.


I am happy to discuss this with you further. You can contact me directly on (03) 9629 5900 or email hello@shanedelia.com.au

Once again thank you for taking the time to give feed back, we all need feedback to improve. I do hope to see you back at Maha if you feel that maybe you just had a one off bad experience. But if you do feel that Maha isn't the fit for you I am happy to suggest other venues that may be.

But one thing is certain; we will not be changing our offering. We have worked very hard to get here and we are very proud of what we have achieved as a team. I wish you and your family a very happy and safe Christmas and a successful new year.
Shane Delia
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
105 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
“Amazing middle eastern food, matched with some amazing wine!”
Reviewed December 23, 2013

From the moment you're greeted to be guided to your table, to the service, explanation of what is being served, to the food, to the dessert to the goodbye, Maha provides an amazing experience.

The banquet is a must, and if your accountant permits, the accompanying wine menu is a perfect way to spend a long business lunch.

Hidden away on one of Melbourne's many laneways, the restaurant doesn't jump out at the passer by, but if you're looking to make a good impression with friends, colleagues, or that special someone, you can't go wrong.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank aditools
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShaneDelia, Owner at Maha, responded to this review, December 26, 2013
Hi Aditools,
I appreciate you posting your review after your recent Maha experience. You're right - one of our set menus with a wine match is a great way to spend a long business lunch! I look forward to welcoming you back for another long lunch again soon.
Cheers
Shane
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Degustation with matching wines”
Reviewed December 21, 2013

This would have to be the best dining experience that we have had. The staff were very professional and friendly. We will be returning when I visit Melbourne again.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank sunshinewanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShaneDelia, Owner at Maha, responded to this review, December 26, 2013
Hi Sunshine wanderer,
Wow - thanks for the kind words. It's always humbling to read that Maha has been a favourite dining experience. I look forward to welcoming you back to Maha when you're next in town.
Thanks,
Shane
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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