Mr. Lawrence


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Mr. Lawrence

Port Melbourne, VIC

1 / 10
Words by Rosie Santos
Photography by Kamilla Musland

A breezy, beachy pub that draws on flavours from Turkey, Lebanon and Morocco.

Dining at Mr Lawrence is like stepping into an oasis created to encourage relaxation and the pleasures of good company, with simple Middle Eastern cuisine and boutique wines. It’s intimate and cosy, and not far at all from the shores of Port Melbourne.

The food at Mr. Lawrence is almost sentimental in its taste – a selection from the seasonal mezze, created to share, will make for a great evening with friends and loved ones. You’ll definitely be fighting for that last Egyptian falafel, beautifully fresh, and perfectly paired with tahini yoghurt. If you’re feeling more daring, try the vibrant beetroot and walnut dip, or the spiced chickpea hummus.

The colours of Mr. Lawrence’s food are what really stand out though – it’s as appealing for your eyes as it is for your taste buds.

The fattouche is very much worth a mention – a perfect side made of tomato, radish, cucumber, mint and bread. It’s fragrance, colours and textures compliment the other heartier contenders on the menu well, like the most beloved and popular Turkish pizzas – think folded almond-shaped crust with juicy grilled eggplant, tahini yoghurt and pomegranate inside. Other pizza options include the more traditional spiced lamb, mint yoghurt and almond, or a slightly more unconventional smoked chicken, tomato, halloumi and dill.

What’s most divine about the food at Mr. Lawrence is that all the dishes combined contrast yet compliment each other’s flavours, no matter what you order. For example, the subtleties in the halloumi with ripe figs that’s been flavoured with ruby-like pomegranate molasses pairs perfectly with the smoky flavours in the barbeque chicken skewers.

It’s easy to imagine as the perfect cosy spot to watch the lightning strike the horizon on a stormy evening in June, with a glass of local wine by the fire.

Everything about this place just works. It’s exquisite and refined in the right places, yet totally accessible and uncomplicated at the same time. There’s something really special when you can enter a place and feel so at home – a space that is somehow so familiar yet completely transports you to far away exotic places.

Along with its various culinary offerings, Mr. Lawrence provides space for private dinner parties and functions to be enjoyed by small and large groups.