Don’t let the scary faux-zebra upholstered booth seats put you off; this venue is home to chef and restaurateur Hassan M’Souli’s version of soul food – namely Moroccan and North African. Like many chefs, his food references his mother’s cooking as well as that of his hometown of Casablanca.
You’ll find all the Moroccan standards: couscous, tagines galore and lots of meat and seafood. A mixed entrée of spicy marinated lamb brochette, saffron-sweet cigar-shaped chicken filo briouat, fried ‘soul’ sardines, grilled calamari and a barbecued king prawn is a tasty beginning to the food safari.
The oysters OOA (Out Of Africa) combine Sydney rock oysters with coriander, lime and chilli. While lip-smacking, they could really be from Out Of Anywhere. The Moroccan meatballs are a signature dish and are bite-sized pieces of beef served in a spicy, garlicy tomato-based sauce studded with peas. A great feature of Moroccan food is its blend of sweet flavours mixed with spicier ones and the lamb sosaties is a great example, combining tender chargrilled lamb backstrap with rice and a sweet apricot Madras sauce.
Respite from the meatfest comes in the form of the fish turban tagine – blue-eye trevalla served in M’Souli’s famous chermoula sauce. It arrives bubbling hot and our friendly waiter whips off the lid with the flourish of a Spanish matador. Be sure to order lots of couscous to accompany the tagine – it’s just the ticket for absorbing all those tasty sauces.
No elephant sightings here, but at around $35 per person, its the most affordable trip to North Africa you’re likely to find.