Having expecting a heavily Middle Eastern / Lebanese restaurant, I was surprised to read that Kazbah described their cuisine as “Middle Eastern, Turkish, Persian, Mediterranean and Moroccan/North African, and French.” Looks like we were in for a surprise. Walking into the restaurant we were greeted to a very authentic and extravagant surrounding.
It’s always difficult deciding what to order from the menu; especially from one as extensive as offered by Kazbah. Luckily, the decision was already made thanks to a set menu option called “Royal Dinner Set”, and royal it certainly was. If this is your choice, make sure to go in hungry; ravenous even.
We started off with your typical bread and dips which consisted of hummus, babaghanouj, and taramasalata. The bread came in two options; fresh and deep-fried. So, tarama-what? I’d never heard of or tried taramasalata before and I was pleasantly surprised with the taste – exactly like salmon roe; my favourite.
The tabouli had a lovely big herby taste to it, which was perfect in setting our taste buds to full throttle.
Those cauliflowers were remarkable. To be honest when I wasn’t paying attention, I thought it was a succulent piece of chicken; I had to remind myself, vegetable, it was that good. There needed to be more of that on the plate. The lamb and pinenut boreks were a tasty treat as well; I was expecting them to be heavy but they went down quite nicely.
I braved my shellfish allergies to try these prawns, and just as well I did because those things were crispy and juicy – I could’ve died happy, but I didn’t because I needed octopus! These are cooked beautifully tender; no jaw pain involved in the devouring process. Again, I wanted more.
It was only at this point that the entrées were completed. Honestly, I could’ve stopped eating now and have been content. Here come the mains…
But first, a drinks break since we had some food in us and could stomach alcohol. Meet the Turkish Delight Martini – Kurrant Vodka, Frangelico, Rose Syrup & Turkish Delight.
I also had the mysterious “Mocktail” instead (just to mix it up)– no breakdown of ingredients, just listed as a non-alcohol fruit cocktail with juice. Hello, yum.
Next up: The Casablanca Royale Tagine – a lamb shoulder braised for 12 hours with roasted veggies and sultana jam. That’s right, 12 hours; soft and succulent. It was a little too gamey for my tastes, but judging from the reaction of everyone else on the table; it was just the right amount of game and flavour.
The lamb shank however was to my liking. It didn’t come with a knife so we were worried about how to portion it, but we gave it a poke with the provided spoon and it fell to pieces.
I love fattoush, and I could eat it forever, so when this dish fell on the table I ogled it like a moth to a flame. Crunchy and tangy from the sumac this salad refreshed our tastes buds for what was to come.
The roasted duck had absorbed a whole heap of flavour from having been cooked the night before and left to sit in its juices, and the falafel wasn’t half bad either.
Chicken – my favourite meat. The shish had a nice range of spices and was, like all the other meats tonight, tender. I’m not usually one for pesto, but it went very well with everything on the plate.
Finally, the snapper arrived, which was hardly touched but not for lack of trying. There had been so much food piled on the table there was barely enough room on it, let alone our stomachs. We all managed to wolf it down though – lovely and flavoursome, with nice firm and flaky flesh. If only we had a second stomach!
Dessert stomach, on the other hand is completely different to the mythical second stomach. Kazbah bomb was too good to share between everyone. Cutting into it, it felt quite dense, but was delighted to see and taste that it was fluffy.
We finished the night with an “Umm ali”, which was very milky tasting and quite bready – but the good kind of bread; the flaky Danish pastry type.
Overall, an enjoyable night which left us stuffed to the brim. Make sure to check out all their amazing surroundings as everything is immaculately presented.
Kazbah Darling Harbour
Harbourside Shopping Centre
Level 1, Shop 284
Darling Harbour, NSW, 2000
Contributed by Ruby, who dined as a guest on behalf of 2 Hungry Guys