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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Dinner @ Rumi

J: Have you guys been to Rumi?
Us: Nope but we should
J: Can I come with you?

That simple conversation sees us heading to Rumi for dinner with J. He's a real food lover so a good night is assured.

Rumi has been around for a while now - the lebanese/middle eastern/persian food of owner chef Joseph Abboud has certainly had people talking, even Anthony Bourdain popped over for a meal when he was here last year. It doesn't seem to get the mainstream media attention but on a Wednesday evening, it is packed so they must be doing something right.

Menu choices are a la carte or 3-or 4 course banquet and naturally we've gone the banquet plus a few extra dishes. We start off with a round of Arak, served with ice and bottled water on the side and I might blame it for the colour cast of my first photo

Rumi© by Haalo

First course:
From the centre, going clockwise, bowl of labne, salmon kibbeh, toasted pita, mixed lebanese and Iranian pickled vegetables, fresh pita, sigara boregi (cigar shaped pastry filled with haloumi feta and kasseri), crudites, green olives picked with wild fennel

Second course:
Rumi© by Haalo
crispy school prawns

Rumi© by Haalo
In the rear, persian meat balls in tomato and saffron with labne. At the front, fried cauliflower with onions, currants and pinenuts.

If you didn't like cauliflower, this is the dish to convert you. Crisp exterior, soft interior, balanced nicely with the sweet-sour mix of currants, pinenuts and onions. The meatballs had a gorgeous soft texture and the rich tomato sauce was luxurious.

Rumi© by Haalo
Wilted wild greens

Third course:

Rumi© by Haalo

Rumi© by Haalo
Quail skewers with pomegranate and pistachio and walnut sauce - the quail was excellent, still juicy flesh, well spiced and tender.

Rumi© by Haalo
Pumpkin, Grape, Peashoots on labne

Rumi© by Haalo
Lamb tongues - one of the extra dishes we ordered. Served as quite meaty portions.

Rumi© by Haalo
Lamb Sausage - smoky and spicy and wonderfully juicy.

Fourth course

Rumi© by Haalo

Rumi© by Haalo
Spiced lamb shoulder - slow roasted on the bone with mint sauce.

While the meat was tender, it was a little dry.

Rumi© by Haalo
cos and herb salad with sweet and sour dressings

Rumi© by Haalo
rice pilaf with fresh herbs, crispy onions, chickpeas


Rumi© by Haalo
arak poached apricots filled with labne; arabic shortbread filled with dates, rosewater and coffee; almond milk pudding with sour cherries and rose jam

I was looking forward to the almond milk pudding but we all weren't quite won over, it was the gritty texture that let it down.

Overall - it was an excellent meal that took you on a journey, filled with spice and comforting flavours. If you consider price, about $45 a head it's a steal.

The details:

116 Lygon Street
Brunswick East

Phone: 03 9388 8255


Rumi on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. $45 for all that food! It looks incredible and I can't believe I haven't made it there yet.

    Jetsetting Joyce


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