Pete Dillon

Melbourne Chef and Restaurateur Shane Delia is set to debut a new concept on Collingwood’s Smith Street this weekend.

Maha North will officially launch on Saturday and take the place of Maha Bar, with the chef identifying an opportunity in the dining landscape that was ripe for the taking.

“Throughout 2022, it became clear there was a real gap in the market for quality Middle Eastern food in Collingwood and surrounding neighbourhoods,” says Delia.

“Following this realisation, it made sense to transition Maha Bar into a Middle Eastern brasserie featuring the colourful flavours Maha and Maha East are renowned for.”

The space has undergone a redesign by Studio Y and is now decked out with marble-topped benches, leather upholstery and a colour scheme of green and gold.

Delia worked closely with Head Chef Niko Pasieka to develop the menu, which starts with snacks and moves into small and large plates, sides and dessert.

Highlights include zucchini flowers with anchovy and almond tarator; king prawn kataifi with fennel seeds, Aleppo pepper and toasted almonds and Lebanese garlic dumplings served with poached leeks, spiced chicken and pine nuts.

Diners can wrap up their meal with a pineapple granita with yoghurt creme; Gerladton wax and lime jelly or handcrafted chocolates.

But guests can expect plenty of new additions to the menu as the seasons change.

“Ever-changing and evolving, plates on the menu are designed to be shared and will be available for a good time, not a long time,” says Delia.

On the drinks front, Maha’s signature cocktails including the pomegranate sour will be available alongside revolving specials.

Group Sommelier Darcy Curnow is behind the wine list, which charts more than 150 bottles covering both local and international varietals.

“We’ve created a fun, left-of-centre wine menu at Maha North which we’re excited to share with Maha regulars and a new northside audience,” says the sommelier.