Things have changed at Mr Lawrence. For starters, it’s moved. You’ll now find it down the road, in the building that used to be its sister restaurant, Tenpin.
The new space suits Port Melbourne’s premier Middle Eastern restaurant much better. There’s a fantastic upstairs dining room with views out over the Spirit of Tasmania, plus a balcony where you can kick back and enjoy a cheeky rose and pomegranate punch. It’s airy but cosy, all at the same time, and the decorations definitely give it that fine-dining-Lawrence-of-Arabia-vibe.
Food-wise, this place still does some of the best Middle Eastern cuisine in the city (you wouldn’t expect anything less from ex-Chin Chin chef Ashley Richey). The menu still has a few favourites like the spiced mince lamb pizza, scattered with crushed almonds, or the crispy-fried Egyptian falafel (absolutely delicious when dunked in tahini yogurt). But there are a few new faces too. Whatever you do, you have to order the Basturma: cured beef with saffron pickles and marinated feta that will change you in deep and profound ways.
For afters? We recommend saving room for the Moroccan Mess, a Middle Eastern spin on the classic Eton dessert. Think sweet rose water meringue served with fresh berries, a big dollop of double cream and covered all over in clouds of fluffy pink pashmak. No-one does Middle Eastern quite like Mr Lawrence, and despite the move, that’s one thing that hasn’t changed.
Image credit: Mr Lawrence