Rumi: Food of Middle Eastern Appearance
Fresh, defiantly inauthentic Middle Eastern-inspired recipes that are once both delicious and cliché free.
Author chef Joseph Abboud thinks of food as a conduit to greater things and presents it here in Rumi with much love and not much sentiment.
The recipes - some non-negotiable restaurant favourites and others riffs on classics (fattoush for every season, or broccoli tabbouleh, for example) - are delivered as both inspiration and a jumping off point for myriad variations. Whether it's Joe's yoghurt, his taratoor, or toum, he empowers cooks to take and trust their own path. Alongside more than 60 recipes that cover off on vegetables, grains, salads, meat and sweet things, Joe talks barbecues, spice, the perfect dressing, cooking with nuts and the secrets to a very good sandwich.
Joseph Abboud has been cooking his take on modern Middle Eastern food at Rumi, his restaurant in Melbourne's inner northern suburbs, since 2006. The vibe is chill, the rules are broken, the food is generous, the cauliflower is burnt, and the locals are lucky. Joe earnt his stripes in modern European kitchens but made the jump to the cuisine of his Lebanese heritage after identifying an opportunity to explore new ways to frame Middle Eastern food; combining both the flavours he knew innately through his childhood and expressions of his own experiences. He took a punt that Melbourne was ready for shared plates, real charcoal barbecues, tahini sauces, Arabic coffee, and the honest Abboud hospitality his beloved restaurant is now known for. Turns out he was right.