Friday, 18 December 2009

Restaurant Review: Kazbah, Balmain

Last Sunday I had breakfast at Kazbah in Balmain with friends, including fellow blogger Shakespearemate. Kasbah has been open for a decade and is one of Sydney's hottest breakfast joints. Kazbah describes itself as a North African, Middle Eastern and Moroccon restaurant. It is difficult place to pin down with mezzes from Greece and Turkey, and tagines from Morocco.

I didn't know what to expect from the breakfast menu. What is a traditional North African / Middle Eastern / Moroccon breakfast? Would they tone the menu down with Western favourites?

At first glance the menu seems uncompromising, with lamb tagines, couscous, foul meddamas and mezze all present. But looking a little closer, French toast and scrambled eggs are also there, wrapped up in southern Mediterranean clothing.

I choose the sweet couscous with mixed nuts, dried fruit, stewed rhubarb and cardoman milk. An interest choice because it is so different and I can't drink milk!

I started without adding any of the milk and it was a little bit dry and bland. When I added some of the cardoman milk the couscous came alive. The taste of cardoman and variety of nuts and dried fruit meant there was interest in every mouthful. I greedily ate the lot and felt stuffed, but satisfied afterwards.

Ali ordered the lamb tagine which I thought would be a bit full on for breakfast. I had a taste; the lamb was tender with a subtle and interesting variety of spices. The eggs, tomato and toasted turkish bread made the dish reassuringly breakfast like.

Penne demolished the feta potato cake with creme fraiche and smoked salmon. I had a quick taste of the feta potato cake which was light and tasty.

My benchmark Sydney breakfast is currently Bills. Does Kazbah knock it off the top spot?

I loved how different Kazbah was, the menu variety, and how all of the food we got looked and tasted fantastic. Everyone enjoyed what they ate. The staff were accommodating when we tried to extend our booking mid week.

On the down side the service was painfully slow and the tables inside are cramped together.

So is Kazbah the new number one? I can't decide. Perhaps another visit is in order to help sort out the quandary.

Kazbah on Urbanspoon

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