A.T and I decided that it was time for us to try something new that wasn’t either Asian (and by Asian I mean Chinese, Japanese and Korean) or modern Australian… which lead us to Rumi.
Rumi is a little bit classy with its dim lighting and neatly groomed waiters and waitresses. Yet the venue itself consisted of mainly group get-togethers exchanging meals and conversations, which created a really social and vibrant environment. The waitress & waiter who served us were both friendly, confident and so helpful with the menu. They also have a very handy way of pouring water, which I thought was a clever way to entertain the diners. Rumi was full despite its spacious interior so it was blatantly evident how popular this restaurant is. I would recommend booking beforehand. Don’t worry, it won’t feel like too much of a chore thanks to their quick and efficient booking system, which you can access on their website!
Sigara Boregi ($12.50 for 4 pieces) – cigar shaped pastry filled with haloumi, feta & kasseri.
Great little cigars rolled with crispy pastry that just flakes and melts in your mouth, and filled with a well-balanced, perfectly salty combination of cheeses. It was a sensational start to our night!
Spiced school prawns w/ tahini sauce ($16.50)
The second entree was even better than the first. The school prawns were crunchy and nicely spiced with the pungent taste of paprika just singing and dancing on my palate. The tahini sauce complemented the prawns impeccably well, as it provided that extra kick which transported me to food heaven. Give me a bucket of these any day and I’d be one very happy shrimpy (…geddit?).
Quail Kebab ($19.50) – w/ grilled shallots
The shallots were sweet and fragrant. The poor quail on the other hand, was overly charcoaled for my liking, resulting in dry meat and remnants of an unpleasant burnt aftertaste that I’d much rather forget. Most importantly, where. was. the. sauce? Where? *flips table*
Freekeh Salad ($14) – almonds w/ ewe’s milk feta & pomegranate dressing.
The freekeh salad made eating the quail somewhat manageable. This salad isn’t exactly the light and refreshing type, but delicious nevertheless. Very tasty flavours, and the almonds added a gorgeous crunch to the overall dish.
Fried potatoes ($9.50) – w/ lemon, garlic & sumac
The fried potatoes had a crunchy exterior whilst the inside was delicately soft, making it really addictive. Having said that, the bigger pieces were undercooked, hard and not crispy at all. The seasoning was packed full of flavour however, inconsistency of the texture was what let the dish down.
Poached pears ($12.50) – w/ walnuts, dried pomegranate seeds, pomegranate molasses, sweet labne & sumac.
The pears were skilfully poached to the point where it was just so soft and easy to bite into. When eaten together with the walnuts, labne and pomegranate molasses, all the elements were there and tasted beautifully well together. The only minor criticism I have is that there was an excessive amount of pomegranate sauce poured onto the plate, which was a tad too sour and overpowering.
Arak poached apricots ($7.50 for 4 pieces) – filled w/ housemade labne using organic milk.
These dainty poached apricots were such a treat. Soft, creamy and sweet! Yum
The night was finished with complimentary gum (very appropriate) and warm smiles! Overall, I had a pleasant first experience eating middle eastern food and Rumi was a great starting point for me to venture out and diversify my palate.
Highlights: amazing and flavoursome entrees (crunchy school prawns with that banging tahini sauce & the crispy cigar pastry)
Lowlights: dry quail with no sauce!
Quality of the food – 7/10
Price (based on food quality) – reasonable
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – social, vibrant
Overall experience – 8/10
Rumi (Middle Eastern)
116 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
(03) 9388 8255
Open Monday to Sunday 6PM – 10PM
From Your Weekly Foodie,