Seven years after opening, CBD Middle Eastern restaurant Maha is getting a $1 million refit. "I want to create the Maha that I always wanted and never really had the freedom to do," says owner-chef Shane Delia, who bought out his business partners, Made Establishment, in July last year.
The subterranean Bond Street restaurant was conceived as a pumping mezze bar-lounge with a small restaurant at the back but it never really worked like that, says Delia. The new look rejigs the floor plan to create a more complete 130-seat restaurant.
The brief to architects Mills Gorman was "opulence without pretentiousness", says Delia, who is at pains to say it's not a rebrand nor a relaunch. "I hate those words because it implies you need to reinvigorate. I really want people to understand that we don't have to. I'm taking every single cent we've made from the restaurant and putting it back into the restaurant.
"We're doing it to reassert ourselves and put our stamp on Middle Eastern dining in Australia."
Final service for Maha 1.0 will be New Year's Eve. It will reopen mid-February.