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Shane Delia's Smith Street Venue Has Been Reborn as Middle Eastern Brasserie Maha North

A gentle makeover and refreshed food focus have steered the chef’s northside site into its next phase of life.
By Libby Curran
March 15, 2023
By Libby Curran
March 15, 2023

Chef Shane Delia's Collingwood restaurant site has shifted through a few incarnations in its time, continually evolving beyond the playful Biggie Smalls kebab joint he debuted back in 2015. And now, it's about to unveil its latest, as Maha Bar is reborn as Maha North.

The Smith Street venue will officially reopen under this new guise from Saturday, March 18, following a gentle makeover and some culinary tweaks. It's returning as a brasserie-style venue that heroes Middle Eastern-inspired eats and a wine-led drinks offering in equal measure.

A subtle refresh of the space is giving Euro wine bar vibes, a little heavier on turquoise and gold accents, with marble high-top benches and a few extra mirrors helping to open up the narrow room.

Led by Delia and Head Chef Niko Pasieka, the revamped food offering boasts plenty of Maha DNA, celebrating bold Middle Eastern flavours across a menu that spans both familiar favourites and new creations.

It's a share-friendly lineup, kicking off with bites like kataifi-wrapped king prawns, wagyu kefta sided with macadamia hummus and fried flat bread, duck fesunjun bourek buns, and a braised tomato dish of grilled merguez sausage, mussels and herbed labne.

Sink further in with options like Lebanese garlic dumplings featuring poached leek and spiced chicken, or the Wagyu rump cap elevated with creamy harissa; and wrap things up with a selection of Maha North's hand-crafted chocolates. Or, lock in a shared banquet for $75.

Meanwhile, the refreshed wine focus takes cues from sibling Maha East, with a 150-plus curation that's not afraid to be a little adventurous. BYO is available on Wednesday nights and Sundays, and bi-monthly tasting events will dig even deeper, pairing showcased drops with specially matched menus and winemaker chats.

Fans of Maha's cocktail game are also in for a treat with a lineup of sips that features signature gems — pomegranate sour, we're looking at you — alongside a rotation of brand-new additions.

Find Maha North at 86 Smith Street, Collingwood. It's open from 5pm–late Wednesday to Saturday, and from 12pm–late Sunday.

Images: Pete Dillon

Published on March 15, 2023 by Libby Curran
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