Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kazbah: Middle Eastern and North African

On Christmas Eve, I went with a friend to Kazbah, a Middle Eastern and North African restaurant in the Top Ryde Shopping Centre, Sydney. The restaurant’s décor was coloured with an exotic blend of red and brown. The most noticeable things for me were the red/golden lights hanging like waterdrops at the front of the restaurant and the golden-framed mirrors at the back. If the restaurant had any more decorations, it would be over the top.

The restaurant was a bit moody and even a bit romantic. I went with a male friend which, for some, could've ended up in an awkward 'is this a date?' situation. But I am very familiar and comfortable with my friend, so it was all okay.
We ordered two mezzes, one being Shredded Lamb, Pistachio Sauce, Pita Crisps. This was delicious! There was protein, something elegant (pistachio sauce), something to hold the whole dish together (pita) and a sauce to cut through the rich flavours of the meat (yoghurt sauce). Typical of Middle Eastern restaurants (or like the ones that I’ve eaten at), the meat was a tad heavy. Good dish nevertheless.

The other mezze we ordered was Fried Cauliflower, Eggplant Jam, Pinenuts with Yoghurt Tahini Sauce. This was delicious as well! The cauliflower was wonderfully flavoured with spices. This was well balanced with the sweetness of the jam, depth of the nuts and freshness of the yoghurt.
After two mezze dishes, we were already full. However, out came the Harissa Marmalade Beef Shish Kebab, served with Sticky Pearl Couscous, Moroccan Eggplant, Tahini Sauce and Red Wine Onion Marmalade. This dish was definitely the heaviest, as it had big chunks of meat and carbs (couscous). We should have probably ordered another vege or white meat dish, so that was a mistake on our half. The couscous was a bit odd, as it was flavoured with some flowery fragrance (or maybe that’s just the taste of the pearl couscous). However, the beef was cooked well, and the condiments of the dish were really needed to break up the massiveness of the dish.
The dinner costed 35pp. Although it was a tad expensive, it was a treat and I’d definitely recommend it to others!

La Piazza, Top Ryde City Shopping Centre
Cnr Devlin St & Blaxland Rd, Ryde
(Also in Balmain & Darling Harbour)

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