Madja and Nedim Rahmanovic have had us all on tenterhooks for the last nine months. In May last year they sadly announced their departure from North Melbourne's Twenty & Six and tantalised us with talk of a new venue, ambiguously named Host. It may have taken a bit longer than anticipated, but the couple's second Melbourne venture is finally up and running.
Now open Saxon Street, Brunswick, Host runs on a five-day schedule. You'll be able to sit down for dinner between Wednesday and Sunday, and lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well. The focus — and the major point of difference between Host and Twenty & Six — is on more sophisticated nighttime service.
The mode of the venue is reflected in the name — a focus on hosting, hearth and home. "The space was a bare warehouse and the brief was to create a home-like atmosphere that encapsulates the definition of what is it to be a 'host'," says Madja.
This is mirrored with the menu's seasonal offerings, frequently changed to keep it fresh, and a focus on shared meals and flexible dining. This comes together for what Madja describes as "a relaxed evening service, alongside minimal intervention wines, local beers and a small cocktail and amaro list".
The Brunswick space is industrial and gritty but made warm by wooden finishes, imposing staghorn ferns and intimate booth dining. And, as you would expect from the pair, the food itself is thoughtful and considered, plated up artfully with a splash of colour. Welcome to Brunswick, Host, you demure delight.