Melbourne doesn’t look like it’s going to be ending its love affair with burgers any time soon.
Even fine dining restaurants are getting into the act and starting today Monday 18 March for a limited time, glamorous Middle Eastern restaurant Maha will be opening up its bar and courtyard to offer possibly the best value burger lunch in town – a burger and a bottle of imported Efes beer for only $15.
The deal is starting off with chef Shane Delia’s award-winning lamb burger and flavours will be switched up over time according to his whim (when I chatted to him he was floating the idea of goat or soft shelled crab). Shane has been appearing on Channel 9’s Mornings Battle of the Chefs and recently won a burger challenge against Lyndey Milan with the exact same recipe.
I was invited to Maha to have a sneak peak (or sneak taste) at this lamb burger and I reckon it’s one of the the most amazing burgers you’re going to get in this burger-mad town.
The thick lamb patty is cooked to order on a smoking hot grill, to the perfect level of medium rare (I saw the chef stick his knife into the meat and then hold it to his chin – apparently if it’s warm then it’s at medium rare. Neat trick).
At the same time the brioche buns are buttered and toasted on the pan until the edges are crispy. The burger is then layered with house made spicy tomato relish, proscuitto, crunchy miniature onion rings, baby watercress, a skirt of kewpie mayonnaise mixed with dehydrated olives and freshly grated cheese.
Eschew the cutlery, there is no way to eat this burger elegantly. Just grab it with both hands and dig in!
While the burger itself is very filling you can choose have it with a selection of interesting sides for an extra $6.50 – barbecue corn and smoked almond salad, ancient grain salad with quinoa, berries and currants, fatouche salad and the closest you’ll get to fries, a bowl of spiced potato gems with onion mayonnaise. I chose the latter and it’s not just fried potato – coriander, flaked almonds, aleppo pepper and a squeeze of lemon make up this dish. Extremely moreish.
I predict that Maha’s Best Burger + Beer offer will be very popular, so it might pay to book ahead though you can still take your chances and walk in. It’s available Monday to Friday 12-3pm. You can also take the burger away sans beers for $13.50 and there’s a vegetarian option with a falafel patty. Get in while it lasts!
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