"There's wisdom in stopping in your prime and giving someone else an opportunity," says Assafiri, who decided to consolidate her efforts at the Soup Bar and pass the torch to a fellow community activist. Husna Pasha will continue the vision of the community-focused Middle Eastern deli while putting her own stamp on it as Alisha's Cafe Collective.
The menu will remain vegetarian and vegan, offering three plates for lunch: a Middle of the East plate – a mix of Moroccan-ish dishes possibly including a fried chilli cake, spiced chickpeas, chutney and quinoa salad; The East of the Middle – more Indian in line with Pasha's background and involve curries and pakoras; and the Moroccan burger with sweet potato fries is an ode to Assafiri.
A portion of what you pay for each dish will be donated to a charity nominated by the community and presented at monthly events. Pasha, who has an entertainment background (she hosts a monthly talk show) wants to use the space to engage local artists and performers, while the rear taginerie will become a cooking workshop space.
Moroccan Deli-cacy will hold a farewell/welcome to Pasha on Sunday, April 15 at 3pm. Alisha's Cafe Collective opens Tuesday, May 1. 313 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, 03 9387 6805.