We weren’t really planning on having dinner out tonight, but somehow, the idea got mooted, I was planning on shopping in Liverpool anyway, and Phil wanted to wander about with his camera for a bit, so instead of doing my shopping and coming home to make dinner, Phil caught the bus over to meet me, and after meeting up at a coffee shop on Bold Street, we headed over to have dinner at a restaurant I’ve wanted to try for ages, Kasbah Café Bazaar. This was a Very Good Idea. This was, in fact, one of the Best Ideas we’ve had in a long time.
First of all, the restaurant is just lovely to look at. Everything in the place is evidently for sale, although we confined our purchases to our meal, in spite of how beautiful the lanterns hanging from the ceiling are:
But we were on a mission to eat, and eat we did. Oh, did we eat. Oh, am I going back on the steamed vegetables and salads eating plan come Monday. But tonight, it was three courses, thank you very much indeed.
Starting with, for me, the tabbouleh and the falafel. I love eating tabbouleh as much as I hate chopping all the parsley for it, so given an opportunity to eat proper tabbouleh, and not some globby bulgur salad sprinkled with a bit of parsley, I am going for it. (Nothing but love for bulgur, mind you, but still…) And I do not deep-fry, but I do like to eat falafel, so that was pretty much the first thing I looked for on the menu.
Phil had merguez sausages and grilled halloumi, both of which were excellent, and the chermoula that came with the merguez was delightful. He ate a bit of my tabbouleh, but eschewed the falafel, and more fool him for that. Merguez sausage is hard to find, so when making something that calls for it, I usually end up cobbling together something on my own with lamb mince and the appropriate herbs and spices, so I was glad to taste a bit of it, to see that yes, I am approximating it pretty well. I’d never eaten halloumi before meeting Phil, who introduced me to it, and I immediately became a big fan, even though I have a limited appreciation for highly salty foods. Something about that squeakiness is enormously appealing to me.
I haven’t got pictures of our drinks, but he had traditional Moroccan mint tea, which was so good, I ordered some with dessert, and I had Moroccan lemonade which was out of this world. They didn’t mention it on the menu, but I’m pretty sure in addition to the lemons, lime and mint, they had a bit of orange blossom water in there. I cannot emphasise enough how gorgeous it was, leading to me coming home and instantly Googling Moroccan lemonade, which led me to this blog, and now I have that one bookmarked for extensive reading later on. (Serendipitously, the blogger in question ‘liked’ my photos on Instagram, something I only found out after finding her blog. I love it when the world is charmingly small like that.)
It was at this point, I noticed that a large percentage of the restaurant’s patrons were, like the wait staff, wearing fezzes. We were not offered fezzes, and I suspect it was not because we were not considered fez-worthy, but because I was wearing my hair piled on top of my head, as usual.
Anyway, after the starters, we moved onto the mains. We both went for grilled dishes, Phil choosing kofta kebabs, and me going for chicken brochettes:
Oh my word. I am not usually a huge fan of chicken, but for some reason, I impulsively ordered it, and if I could have chicken like that every day, I would probably be much keener on it than I am. Very juicy, well-seasoned, and prepared by somebody who really knows his or her way around a grill. Phil’s kofta was equally nice, and I think when we go back (and oh yes, we will) I would gladly order what he had, and vice versa. I love lamb, he loves chicken, and he really, really liked mine. I think we are probably going back very soon, and possibly even frequently, because I can’t think of a thing, other than prawns, which I cannot, alas, eat without horrible consequences, I wouldn’t want to try on that menu. The salad was really fresh and delicious as well, and even though they’re not in the photo, we had more of that delicious chermoula, and a great garlic mayo to go with it. I officially hate mayonnaise, but for some reason, you add garlic to it, and suddenly I find it delicious. This says more about my passionate love of garlic than it does of my loathing of mayonnaise.
Well fed though we were, I definitely wanted to have some of that mint tea, and I had spotted baklava on the sweets menu, and, well…
Baklava happened. Even though I just made and devoured a not-insignificant quantity of baklava last week. If there is baklava to be had, it is inevitable I will have baklava. Phil got the Moroccan pancake, which had apples and cinnamon in it, and came with a nice, sticky toffee sauce, and a cup of what he said was excellent espresso, and then we were truly finished, and I still cannot believe it took us so long to go there. It will not take us long to go back, that I can tell you.