The name Middle South East has a pretty simple story: “Middle East” for the flavour, “South” for the Chapel St location.
This place is doing modern Australian food with a Middle Eastern Twist, offering something a little new to the South Yarra food scene. Only three months old, Middle South East is the brainchild of owner Mais Maz Lurhman—an evolution from his old digs at En Vogue in South Yarra.
The corner café blends their single-origin coffee in-house and (hallelujah) does an all-day breakfast. Some of the dishes will be familiar to anyone that's cruised the Melbourne brunch scene. Others not so much.
The most popular dish with lycra-wearing locals? The Middle South Eggs, and it’s got a whole lot of punch. Think two poached eggs, Persian feta, fresh chilli, chunky bread for dipping, and sujok, a Middle Eastern spiced lamb sausage that’ll have you reaching for the water so you can brave another fiery mouthful.
Lurhman’s favourite is the Homage to Teta, a dish from his childhood. It’s cumin scrambled eggs, mixed with zucchini, labne, mujadra, and baked mushroom, served up on chunky organic sourdough. Spicy, fragrant and totally original—you won't get this thing anywhere else.
If you're craving something a little more familiar, the Middle Burger with wagyu beef, onion jam, cabbage slaw, beetroot, crispy potato and smoked cheddar is probably the go. It also comes with a load of well-seasoned sweet potato fries.
Designed by Melbourne’s Biasol Design, the cafe interior was inspired by Middle Eastern architecture. All terra cotta hues, shiny bronze and navy blue detail. Spherical terra cotta lights line the walls, custom-made to replicate terra cotta roof tiles.
Maz Lurhman believes that the cafe's success is down to a combination of factors, most of them delicious.
“When you walk in you get a special feeling of comfort, warmth, and cosiness from the design and space as a whole. And the service and coffee compliments that too,” he says.
Middle South East serves all day breakfast until 3pm, and lunch from 11am. Vegan and vegetarian options are also available.
Image credit: Middle South East