The drinks at Shane Delia's restaurant are as hot as the food

Being part of the restaurant, the bar at Maha is often overlooked. But behind the sturdy wooden platform here, are some quietly exceptional movers and shakers, making this the best darn place to wet your whistle off Queen Street. The bar stools are almost always available, so while the business crowd busy themselves with dinner in the booths draped with tapestry and carved wood, you can get one-on-one access to the bartenders and their knowledge of Middle Eastern booze. Ever tried arak? It’s like ouzo, made from grapes with a strong hit of aniseed and an alcohol content that could strip paint. It comes with a dash of water for dilution, and after we observe a grown man struggle sweatily through his glass in a valiant display of showing off, we suggest you use it. And make sure you investigate the bitter-sweet cocktail list while you’re at it. It’s all citrus, pomegranate and fresh flavours to compliment Shane Delia’s Maltese menu. Get an Adelina, which comes with a rhubarb and mandarin soda float. They don’t officially have a bar menu here, but if you ask nicely, they’ll let you order a few small plates like warm chilli-coated olives or fried zucchini flowers stuffed with goats cheese. Got some time? Stay on for dinner, because the drinks, staff and cuisine here are a cut above and step to the left of anything else that you can get your mitts on in the CBD.

First published on . Updated on .

By Gemima Cody   |  

Maha Bar and Grill details

Address
21 Bond St, Melbourne 3000

Telephone 03 9629 5900

Transport
Nearby Stations: Flinders St; Southern Cross

Price per person including drinks $51 to $100

Open Lunch Mon-Fri 12 noon-3pm; Sat,Sun 12 noon-3pm; Dinner Mon-Fri 12 noon-3pm

Maha Bar and Grill website

Maha Bar and Grill map

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