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Posts Tagged ‘Middle Eastern’

Kazbah, Top Ryde

My first visit to Kazbah wasn’t a memorable one. The food didn’t live up to the expectation and the service was horrid. This was about 2 or more years ago now and I have not returned until recently. I was catching up with the lovely suzchef, and I suggested we go here. To be frank, we didn’t really care where we went; it was a LONG overdue catch up! I have yet to see suzchef tummy and believe me, she was looking absolutely radiant! They say some women looks well when they are pregnant whilst others might not and she is definitely one of those women that looks extremely well whilst pregnant!

We didn’t have any entrees, went straight to mains. I couldn’t go past the char-grilled grain fed scotch fillet, asparagus, Moroccan butter, chips with Kazbah seasoning. The steak was a little thin but cooked to perfection. The chips were a little soggy for my liking – I am not a huge fan of soggy chips unless I am drunk and the Moroccan butter was a wonderful complement!

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S couldn’t go past the tagines – chicken, chermoula, lima beans, potatoes, green olives served with a choice of carrot steamed couscous or rice pillaf. The tagine was tasty – the chicken tender and full of flavours. It smelt absolutely divine which made the dish even tastier!

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I have to admit, the meal was better than what I remembered it to be. I don’t know if it’s the location, or the fact that it wasn’t super busy, but service was pleasant and good. I didn’t have high expectations in the first place so that may have helped! Ha! I am willing to give their breakfast another go.

We were too full for dessert, and I had a very restless and bossy Dragon with me!

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It was so lovely to catch up with you S! Can’t wait to meet the little one.

GA’s ratings: 6.5 / 10

Kazbah

Pope Street, Top Ryde Shopping Centre

Ph: +61 2 9555 7067

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Emma’s on Liberty, Enmore

I have never been to Emma’s on Liberty, ‘The Mother’ and his friends have dined here frequently and really enjoyed it. Emma’s on Liberty can be found in the quiet streets of Enmore, a little restaurant with a big long communal table in the middle of the restaurant with a few smaller tables surrounding it.

I haven’t been so left all the order to A1 and he certainly did order well. Emma’s on Liberty serves some of the best Lebanese food, I have no expertise on Lebanese food, nor have I eaten a lot of it but was pleasantly surprised with how flavoursome and delicious everything was.

Upon arriving, we were served with some thin Lebanese bread to dip in olive oil and zatar, a Middle Eastern spice mixture. It was so hard to not fill up on just bread, olive oil and zatar!

We started with the hommous ($12) – freshly cooked chickpeas crushed with tahini, garlic and lemon. It was deliciously creamy with a hint of tang which I loved.

The traditional hommous ($16) – hommous topped with lamb, pinenuts, tomato and parsley were good but the ‘normal’ hommous was infinitely better, the creaminess, the tang, and besides, this one had lamb which I am not a huge fan off.


Felafel ($12) – four pieces of round spicy beans, herbs and spices deep fried until golden. Crispy on the outside, and full of flavour, and eaten with a bit of hommous, delightful!


I love haloumi, so ordered a serve of the grilled haloumi with sumac, chili and fresh mint ($12). Three per serving, the haloumi with a hint of chili was lovely.


The fried cauliflower ($14) we all loved, gently fried and served with a tangy tahini sauce and parsley.


I loved the oven roasted eggplant ($14) – deliciously tender and succulent, served with onion, tomato, garlic and spices.

Fried potato coriander ($12) – hand cut potato cubes with garlic paste and fresh coriander. The other diners certainly enjoyed this but the garlic was over powering.


The ladies finger ($16) – four fill pastry rolls filled with lamb, pine nuts and pomegranate molasses was surprisingly ok. It didn’t have too much of that lamb flavour and after taste, but one was definitely more than enough for me.


Moorish chicken ($19) was indeed moorish. Chicken marinated in tangy spices and wrapped in lebanese bread. It was filing and the boys couldn’t get enough of it!


I didn’t have any of the turkish coffee, it smelt quite strong and I wanted to have a good night sleep.


The turkish delight was deliciously sweet but a little mouthful was just enough for it.


Overall, it was a great evening with friends, and the food was wonderful. My favourites would have to be the fried cauliflower, roasted eggplant and the hommous – yum!

GA’s rating: 7 / 10

Emma’s on Liberty

59 Liberty St

Enmore 2042

Ph: +61 2 9550 3458

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Breakfast Feast at Kazbah, Balmain

I remember coming to Kazbah many many years ago and enjoyed it. I was certainly due for a revisit. I was catching up with two awesome photographers, one whom I have gotten to know reasonably well and the other, his brother. There were six of us, their respectively wives and another friend of theirs, G. D1 made a reservation and we all ordered the breakfast feast. I haven’t had the breakfast feast but have read and seen many photos and it looked wonderful!

We were all looking forward to the feast. We sat outside, as it was a rather warm-ish day and were all ravenous, well I certainly was!

We all ordered our drinks – I, skim flat white, it was smooth but a little too watery for my liking. The juices, Ruby Grapefruit and Mango and Mandarin were a little sour but refreshing.

Three large bowls were placed in front of us. Started with warm rice pudding with saffron poached pear and hazelnuts – soft cooked rice with saffron poached pear, dusted with sugar, cinnamon and crushed toasted hazelnuts. I am not a huge fan of rice pudding nor cinnamon but surprisingly this was ok, in small dozes of course. I couldn’t eat a whole serving of this, but a couple of spoonfuls were ok.

Next the banana porridge with date compote served with brown sugar and warm milk. It was creamy and thick and a little tasteless I thought. The date compote was sweet but not nearly as sweet enough.

Sweet couscous, mixed nuts and dried fruits served with stewed rhubarb and cardamom milk was not a favourite of mine. It was a little dry and rough, but with the stewed rhubarb it was slightly tastier.

I did enjoy the stewed rhubarb though – LOVE rhubarb!

The breakfast tangines are Kazbah’s signature dish. I recall having one of their tangines here before and enjoyed it. A large tangine was placed before us, a combination of roast pumpkin and lamb mince breakfast tangines. The roast pumpkin tangine consists of roast pumpkin, spinach, roast capsicum, roast tomato caramelised onion, feta and eggs and the lamb mince breakfast tangine consists of lamb mince, sucuk, roast capsicum, roast tomato, caramelised onion, feta and eggs both served with turkish toast and lebanese bread.

I wasn’t a fan of the lamb mince, but only cause I am not a fan of lamb, however, the pumpkin tangine was delightful. Tender succulent roast pumpkin with caramelised onions and several eggs over the top and baked.

We were all getting rather full by now but wait… there’s more food!

Eggs three ways, scrambled, poached and fried served on turkish bread and the hot breakfast plate – bacon, roasted tomato, haloumi, potato hash and lamb merguez sausages. Unfortunately, the meal was lukewarm, getting on the cold side actually. I didn’t enjoy the lamb sausages, the haloumi were over cooked. I don’t think D1 enjoyed this either.

With the hot breakfast plate, we were presented with baby spinach, mushrooms and baked beans. I enjoyed the mushrooms and baked beans more than the not so hot breakfast plate.

We were stuffed but there were more of course! Dessert. Unfortunately, we waited a good 1hr and 20 mins for dessert to come. We had to chase them several times, and each waiter gave us a different answer. ‘Its on the way’, ‘It’s been called away’, ‘I’ll come back’ except they never came back and some ‘even shunned eye contact knowing that we’d ask them about our dessert’. Dessert was pancakes with ice cream – D1 claims that ‘my blind grand mother can whip them up in 5 minutes – not that hard’ and I have to agree.

I have to say, it was a surprisingly HUGE pancake – strawberry pancake with double cream and maple syrup topped with chocolate ice cream. The pancake was thick and I love the crusty exterior, however, I do prefer normal thin pancakes. The chocolate ice cream was creamy and absolutely wonderful. Unfortunately, the wait was not worth it.

The service was ordinary that day, I know it was a busy day but still. We asked for ice and we all couldn’t believe that they all ran out of ice, considering it was the weekend of 40+ deg day in Sydney. You would think that they would have unlimited ice?

Lastly, when D1 walked up to the counter to pay, with money in the bill-fold, one of the waiters not in uniform, stood there, putting money in the till took one look at him with his outstretched hand and continues to count money, and ignored him. No wonder it took forever to pay – we were all wondering what was going on.

The breakfast feast was $25 per person, however, food was ok and service awful. I enjoyed the tangines but that was pretty much it. It was a little disappointing as we have all heard raving reviews and were looking forward to a wonderful feast.

I asked D1 if he would go back, his response: ‘are you kidding? Of course not! What a let down.’

Definitely a shame though. The company however was fantastic! IT definitely made up for the crappy service and ordinary food.

GA’s rating: 5 / 10

D1’s rating: 5 / 10

Kazbah

379 Darling Street

Sydney 2041

Ph: +61 2 9555 7067

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