Steve surprised me with a last minute reservation at Maha on Friday. It's been a long hard week so we both skipped Friday night drinks with colleagues and met up at home where Steve had a 2 hour nap and I had a rest before we headed out for dinner.
We had a quick drink before heading to Maha and enjoyed a second drink at the bar. I tried their specialty cocktail - a heady mix of rum, lemon, vermouth and a violet sugar crust. Not the best on an empty stomach!
Opening ceremony of hibiscus tea and a passionate "saha!" was followed promptly by smoked pork hock broth, silverbeet, beans and a quail egg. I love broth and consomme type dishes and this one was salty and smoky and really quite delicious. The beans added body and substance and took away some of the saltiness and the shreddlings of pork hock were delicious.
The poached rainbow trout, tapioca, dill, candied walnuts, salmon caviar, trout pashmak was a more mature dish I felt and I really enjoyed the clean flavour of the trout intensified by the pashmak which was reminiscent of the Asian pork floss and then bursts of sea flavour from the caviar.
Roast duckling breast, leg malfouf, roots, onion crumble was another triumph. The duck confit wrapped in a cabbage leaf was simple and just full of duck flavour and the duck breast was pink and moist. The little balls of crispy potato were a delight to munch.
Our final main course was David Blackmore rib eye cap marble score 9+, honey, coriander seed, roast garlic parfait, shaved roots. By this time we were pretty full but the beef was so delicious that in spite of full bellies it disappeared. Cooked rare it was just excellent and I loved the punchy garlic parfait and the stodgy potato croquette ball on the side. The was a hint of spice to it but the beauty of the beef came through most of all and rightly so!
The second dessert was beautifully presented in a box and comprised of three components. There was a chocolate and pomegranate molasses souffle all toasty brown and fluffy. Not overpoweringly chocolatey I enjoyed the sweetness of it but it was just too big!
The strawberry ice cream came in a silver tin and was childishly delightful reminding me of the milky sweet candy like ice cream that kiddies enjoy. The best part of this dessert was the little shot glass of sumac meringue, candied pine nut mint salad and pomegranate jelly. More complex and grown up than the strawberry ice cream it was refreshing and light and tropical and I loved it!
Maha was maha-vellous. Service as always was personal and attentive. We were asked our opinion on the dishes and our thoughts listened to. The pace the dishes came out was good and our late sitting didn't feel dragged out. All in all great Friday night surprise. I'll take more of those hubby!