116 Lygon Street Brunswick East, VIC 305703 9388 8255
|Opening hours||Daily 6pm-10pm|
|Prices||Moderate (mains $20-$40)|
|Chef||Joseph Abboud & Jenna Abbruzzese|
|Payments||Mastercard, Visa, eftpos|
Rowdy, buzzy and unfussy, Rumi is the perfect neighbourhood restaurant, a modern Middle Eastern stronghold. Service is straightforward and friendly, the decor casual (compressed concrete tables, wooden school chairs), and the authentic, rustic share-plates arrive with pace. Order up a spread and start on crisp pastry cigars filled with a salty mix of haloumi, feta and kasseri (a signature dish) and charry quail kebabs with shallots and garlic sauce. Move on to freekeh salad with toasted slivered almonds and tart pomegranate dressing; Persian lamb meatballs cooked in a sweet tomato and saffron sauce; a side of green beans sprinkled with crumbly sheep's milk cheese; or fall-apart lamb shoulder slow-roasted on the bone, served with a little jug of sweet mint sauce. And for dessert? Maybe date pastries and mint tea or Lebanese coffee. Rumi isn't the place where they'll take your coat or top up your wine, but it is the place for a relaxed group catch-up, a casual date or an early-bird family dinner. It's fun, upbeat and authentically Levantine.