Our friend, The Doctor, introduced The Brooding Architect and I to Balha’s not long after we moved to Melbourne. Worst mistake ever. Being walking distance to the hands down the best Lebanese pastries in Melbourne is dangerous. Even more dangerous is the fact that the pastries here are available to buy in 1kg lots. I blame Balha’s for at least 30% of my total ‘Melbourne Spread’.
The biggest problem with Balha’s is you often swing by for just a coffee, but the staff are just so friendly – insisting that you ‘sample’ the fresh baked pastries – that it is impossible not to buy a little sweet treat to go with your coffee (or a box of turkish delight to take home).
Here is mix of some our favorites. The Fingers (filo pastry, syrup and cashew) and the Diamond Baklawa (filo pastry, syrup with cashew) are my top picks, especially with an espresso, or (if you are feeling healthy) a cup of mint tea.
However, the crème de le crème of what is on offer at Balha’s has to be the Znoud El Sit (filo pastry with syrup and clotted cream). My arteries hurt just thinking about this, but it just too delicious to refuse.
Try it only if you can trust yourself (or you don’t live walking distance to Balha’s).