Bob Hart and Hilary McNevin

Greg Malouf behind the pans.
Greg Malouf behind the pans.

Greg Malouf is returning to his roots, both professionally and personally, reinventing a Middle Eastern cafe with his brother Geoff.

Back in Melbourne after a stint in London, Malouf is at the helm for the reopening of cafe Zum Zum in Carlton North next week.

The beloved suburban cafe will be rebadged "Malouf's Zum Zum"; the insertion of the Malouf name an important clarification for customers.

Geoff and his wife Amal Malouf opened Zum Zum with Dahouk White in 2001, but sold their share to White in 2005.

The couple then opened cafe Mamaganoush in Windsor, yet yearned to return to Melbourne's inner-north, and decided to buy the business back from White after she expressed interest in selling. "We missed that side of the river," says Geoff.

Greg, who started benchmark Middle Eastern restaurant MoMo, is back in town after a stint at the Michelin-starred restaurant, Petersham Nursery in London.

Greg will supervise Zum Zum's menu and service for the weeks leading up to Christmas before he sets off to Dubai.

The family plan to keep some favourite dishes but will "freshen up the menu with specials and changing dishes", says Geoff.

Malouf's Zum Zum, at 645 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North opens on Tuesday.