Bahari The Hellenic Palate, Richmond, Melbourne
With life now well situated in the Northern hemisphere, I have a few good friends back home to keep me updated on the food scene. My new contributor EJ had such a treat and is still recovering, after a mesmerising line up of food from Bahari and the first perfect score! What a way to start. EJ writes:
Upbeat atmosphere accompanied by Greek tunes set the mood at this cosy Richmond location. The owner, head chef and ex-MasterChef contestant Phil, greeted myself and my friend Katja and we immediately felt welcome. The restaurant was quite busy (we now know why!) but we also felt well attended to be staff, who were most hospitable. The menu at Bahari encompasses a variety of tantalising Greek-inspired options that would tickle anybody’s pickle. We let Phil take the lead in this dance of “Gringlish” (experimental Greek) offerings which incorporated a range of highlighted dishes from on and off the menu. This was a relief since to be honest, I’m always basic in going for the trio of dips for sustenance.
Choosing a favourite dish from Bahari is like choosing what child you like the most to send to college. But if I had to choose an order of how the food came out I would choose the dessert. Why? Because ‘WOW’ look at it! Not only a treat for the eyes but also to the senses. This white chocolate & pistachio brownie was served with dehydrated & fresh raspberries, a rose Chantilly, gold leaf & mango pearls. As good as the brownie was, the halva ice-cream was a show stopper for me. I would gladly eat this for the rest of my life and be completely content.
These stuffed Pablano peppers were nothing short of amazing. The stuffing incorporated ‘Gemista’ with beef mince, dill, rice and cumin. The labneh on the side made it that extra delectable. The Greek inspirations in the modern menu are clear and used in a thoughtful way that feels ideal, and never ironic.
Little bites of heaven on a single plate. Here we have the halloumi wrapped in pastry, with drizzled honey and prawn stuffed zucchini flowers. These are coupled with these awesome stuffed ricotta and spinach squid.
A wealth of flavours all on one plate came up next. This beetroot feta salad was a perfect pairing with the slow roasted lamb shoulder. For someone who’s not a big fan of beetroot this dish converted me. The lamb shoulder itself was so tender with the right amount of seasoning. You can taste the love and care in every bite.
Looking back at this image makes me smile. This vibrant Cypriot grain salad would turn anyone’s frown upside down. (That’s not a smile, that’s an upside down frown!). The sprinkling of pomegranates made the dish sing.
And there you have it. If you’re looking to woo that special person in your life or just looking for a great meal, then make your next booking a Gringlish one. The team at Bahari were extremely warm and accommodating, the food was exceptional and the location was perfect. I already can’t wait for my next visit; big love.
Note: author dined at invitation of the restaurant.