Tahini Lebanese Diner
(Little Bourke St, Melbourne)
Tucked in the back laneways of the legal precinct in Melbourne’s CBD is Joseph Haddad’s new food concept – Tahini.Launched in March, the space is a return to Joseph’s Lebanese homeland with a celebration of local Lebanese food and a few Beirut specialities. Focusing on a daytime food offer, the outlet will also supply Lebanese food provisions as well as lunchtime favourites.
The design strongly references the complex contradictions and intensity of Beirut society, where to eat with friends is to be family and life is to be lived in the moment because who knows what the future holds.
The space is both brutal and yet refined with an interplay of colour and texture against the exposed raw bones of the interior shell. The food is the hero of the space, with customers drawn to the vibrant counter-line, and the coffee and alcohol offer offset to the rear along a separate counter.
The front of house is open and spacious with a mix of seating types scattered through, both indoor and outdoor. Graphic treatment is almost graffitied through the space with the boundary between built material and text blurred.
Tahini is an intensely personal outlet for Joseph, and a definite shift in direction after many years leading the Melbourne coffee movement with both Code Black Coffee and Cafenatics.