Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kazbah on Darling

As we arrive, it is packed, I am so lucky I booked as weekend brunches here are crazy. I would have to say it is without a doubt the best breakfast in Sydney. It's not your standard bacon and eggs but rather offers a variety of sweet and savory Turkish/Moroccan dishes that may not be what you are used to, but believe me, they are mighty good.

Bec and I take our seats and just observed. It is like organised chaos here. So many waiters running around but they all know exactly what they are doing and make sure that every single table is taken care of. We are served our water which is poured from a bulb like jug with a little spout on the side making the water path long and thin as she hold the jug further and further away from the glass making it look almost fountain like. I was impressed as I knew if I had tried I would have spilt that water all over our able, but you all know how clumsy I am anyways.

Ok choices choices, what to order. I have had the Za a'tar bread before which is a grilled flat bread drizzled with olive oil, topped with Za a'tar, dollops of labne (a creamy middle eastern yogurt), tomato, olives and rocket. It is so light and flavoursome and a really nice simple meal for breakfast. I just couldn't resist, and it was the first thing we had decided on, but it was a close call, as were tossing it up with the Breakfast Mezee. Hommus, labne, kasseri (a Middle Eastern/Greek cheese), olives, dukkah, za a'tar, tomato and Lebanese bread, kind of like a mixed antipasto for breakfast. Normally this would be exactly what I order as I love making up my own combinations of food and eating dips and breads, however we thought it was too big and since we wanted to try other things we would get the smaller out of the two.

The next thing that caught my eye was Foul. I had heard of it before but never tried it. Bec assured me it was scrumptious. Basically it is a dip like mixture made out of chick peas, fava beans, garlic and lemon juice. To garnish it had chopped boiled egg and shallots over the top which you are supposed to mop up with the flat bread it is served with. I was sold; garlic and lemon juice; and it did not disappoint as these flavours were quite strong but balanced by the heaviness of the beans. It was definitely an excellent choice, and great that it was served with bread, because as a lot know, us Greeks will wipe up every drop of liquid at the bottom of our bowl with bread to complete the meal.

The last dish we ordered, even though we knew we would be sufficiently full by this point was the Breakfast Tagine. We just could not resist. This is a dish made in clay pot which is shaped like an upside down cone and is called a Tajine. It acts like a pot or slow cooker in which everything is put in then it is cooked over a heat source usually for long periods of time. This particular dish consisted of Lamb Mince, Sucuk, Feta, Spinach, Capsicum, Caramelised Onion, Tomato, and Eggs, so it did not need too long to cook. The feta softened and was scattered throughout the whole dish which was all held together with the egg. The flavours of each vegetable were not lost, as they are with some forms of cooking, but rather captured and each bit released amazing flavours into my mouth. The lamb was seasoned with Moroccan spices (cumin, cinnamon, paprika, coriander, nutmeg and ginger) giving it a bit of oomph and making the dish that bit more flavoursome. It was a shame we could not eat any more but we severely over ordered (which is sometimes the case with me I will admit) however we enjoyed the whole morning.

It is such a relaxing space with its large windows opening up the whole restaurant and bringing natural light and ventilation in. I just love the butchers paper on the tables, which is there to be drawn on with the crayons provided. No matter what your age, I would say most customers would write a little remark or draw a little squiggle.

It is such a vibrant and interesting space, there is nothing that isn't fascinating. I recommend it for any occasion where you are looking for a casual place where you can enjoy amazing food with flavours you may not have tried before, but if I can make one suggestion.........BOOK, even if you have to wait a little for your table, it is definitely worth it.


SydneyCider said...

Hey Trish! How are you doing? Liked the article and photos. Made me miss home! It's funny because the food is sounds more Lebanese than Morrocan. I guess they share a lot with us. The Zaatar manakish, the foul, the eggs breakfast, very typical lebanese dishes. Yum. I'm moving houses soon, but I'll invite you over for breakfast after we've moved and we can have something similar.

talk soon

---trish--- said...

Heya Fouad

I'm good, just finished cooking up a passionfruit semifreddo for tomorrow night....but that is to come next week.

Yes I think turkish and lebanese have some similarities. The more morrocan items on the menu include:
- Sweet Couscous, Mixed Nuts, Dried Fruit, Stewed Rhubarb, Cardamom Milk; or
- Chakchouka Scrambled Eggs, Smoked Salmon, Turkish Toast

Then there are heaps of others on the lunch and dinner menu's. Maybe I am just drawn to the more lebanese dishes as it is my favourite cuisine.

Oh yes you will have to let me know when you move, I'd love to come over and cook with you.

Have a great weekend!!!