Rumi - East Brunswick

Rumi - East Brunswick

Rumi is a Middle Eastern restaurant serving a sharing menu of a la carte (small, medium or large sharing plates) or banquet dishes.

Specialising in charcoal meats/seafood and a large variety of vegetable and grain dishes, Rumi caters for a casual weeknight meal, after work drinks and snacking, special occasion dining and private or corporate functions.

The ethos is to provide diversity in food options for all types of diners and for any occasions. With so many vegetable forward dishes (Lebanese & Iranian pickled vegetables, Caramelised Eggplant Braised with Tomatoes & Green Peppers, Freekeh Salad and Cabbage Salad are some more examples), vegetarians and vegans are catered for front and center rather than as an after-thought.

A curated wine and drinks list of Middle Eastern and Australian heritage ensures there's are good matching choice to compliment the food and allow locals to enjoy some after work drinks.

Mon to Sun 5.30pm-9.30pm

2023 New Digs

After 16 years, founders Joseph and Nat Abboud moved from their original Lygon St digs to East Brunswick Village.

East Brunswick Village - 2 Village Ave, Brunswick East | Map says..

First Look: After 17 Years, Joseph Abboud's Middle Eastern Eatery Rumi Finds a New Home at East Brunswick Village

The signature cheese cigars and advieh-marinated lamb shoulder haven't gone anywhere, but there are a few new additions, including a wine list of over 100 bottles, a charcoal grill and a soon-to-open sibling wine bar.

It's now one of Melbourne's most thriving dining hubs, but Brunswick East was a much different place when Joseph Abboud first opened his Middle Eastern restaurant Rumi there in 2006.

"When we started on Lygon Street, there was nothing around us," he tells Broadsheet. "We sort of started a village there, at risk of overstating it."

Drawing on dishes from his Lebanese heritage and from around the Middle East, he attracted a community that helped propel his eatery to institution status.

But all good things come to an end, and when Abboud's lease ended three years ago, he knew he'd have to find a new home. Luckily for locals, he's stayed in the neighbourhood, setting up shop at East Brunswick Village, just a main road away.

Plenty will be familiar to Rumi regulars. Mainstays like the haloumi and feta-filled sigara boregi (crisp cheese cigars) and lamb shoulder marinated in advieh (a Persian spice mix usually containing cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, coriander, rose petals and nutmeg) have made it onto the new menu. They're all prepared in a purpose-built, fully-electric - save the charcoal grill, which is used across a third of the menu - kitchen.

There are also a few new offerings including a harissa-rubbed barbequed half-chicken with a condiment, mulukhiyah.

"It's popular in Egyptian cooking and around the eastern Mediterranean," Abboud says of mulukhiya. "It's actually very similar to warrigal greens, so we're making the traditional version with [them]."

The new location will see an extended beverage offering, taking the wine list from around 20 to over 100 Australian and Middle Eastern bottles.

"We're really trying to champion the Middle East and what we're calling the old, old world ... We're referring to it as the cradle of civilisation; those really early winemakers."

The design also takes influence from the region with notes of bronze, copper and deep green. The new Rumi seats 80, while there's an 80-person function space plus some outdoor seating that Abboud intends to reserve for pre-dinner drinks.

Come December 8, 2023 - Abboud and his wife Nat Abboud are opening an all-day wine bar called Rocket Society, located just across the way from Rumi. There, they plan to serve Lebanese flatbread sandwiches by day and meze by night, catering to run-off traffic from the precinct's soon-to-open Fomo Cinema from the Cinema Nova team.

Published on 01 December 2023

❊ Address ❊

 ⊜  2 Village Ave,  Brunswick East 3057 View Map
 ✆ Telephone: 03 9388 8255
2 Village Ave, Brunswick EastVictoria03 9388 8255

❊ Web Links ❊

Rumi - East Brunswick

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Rumi - East Brunswick