Forget everything you know about Kazbah restaurants. Because the newly opened, Kazbah Souk in Potts Point looks set to rock you. The venue is a warm, one-stop haven for any self-respecting foodie, drinks connoisseur, sweet tooth and aficionado of street food.
Kazbah Souk has been some three years in the making and once again comes to us from restauranteurs Zahi Azzi and his wife, Penny. The pair initially combined their passion for food and hospitality back in 1998 with the opening of Kazbah on Darling in Balmain. The restaurant soon became renowned for fusing flavours and taking hints from the couple’s respective cultures and heritage. This means you can taste flavours from countries like Turkey, Persia and Morocco and have whole regions like the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Northern Africa engulf you in a warm hug.
The techniques that are employed are occasionally taken from French haute cuisine and fresh, Australian ingredients are used. Another addition to the restaurant’s overall repertoire is Spanish or specifically, Catalan. The Potts Point restaurant is being headed up by renowned Spanish chef, Quim Hernandez Maluquer who has worked at fine dining establishments like Reno, Florian and Leopoldo, among others.
Maluquer describes his outlook on food as a: “Slow cooker evolution away from fads and trends, instead concentrating on dishes full of flavour and aroma”. The AU review had a chance to sample some of these foods in the form of canapés and they were certainly the tastiest this reviewer has ever sampled. These bite-sized treats were like a dance of spices and scents on my tongue, it was absolutely divine.
The dishes included Chicken & Lobster Tagine with almond and saffron sauce ($42), Hokkaido Scallops Carpaccio with green apple and black truffle olive oil dressing ($19). For dessert there was the Kazbah bomb but this one had a twist and saw Turkish delight ice-cream coupled with soft meringue ($14) and Chocolate Bunyols of chocolate centred dough ($14), which were even more explosive and decadent than a rich, chocolate fondant. These can all be enjoyed in the Souk’s larger dining area.
For those people wanting something a little more private, Kazbah in Potts Point also has a bar out the back. It looks more like a cosy and homely living room as “family” photos and large portraits adorn the walls. The story goes that the black and white picture of the old grandma was taken of a lady who once escaped from prison. Once she was out and free she started making cocktails and passed this art and tradition along to her children (whose pictures can be seen by her side).
In Arabic a souk is known as a marketplace. It should come as no surprise then that a small part of this eatery is dedicated to a deli specialising in Middle Eastern spices and ingredients as well as a cellar and a section where homewares like plates can be purchased. At the front of the restaurant is a bakery which serves heavenly sweets, breads and pastries.
Another part of Kazbah Souk which looks poised to fit in well with the local surrounds is Mafi Mitlo or the street food section. In this part, bright and vibrant murals and graffiti can be found on the walls lending it an army bunker feel. This is the place to come for a Lebanese Shawarma or wrap available in chicken, lamb, pork, beef and falafel ($8.50-9.50).Children’s meals are available along with salads ($11.50-13.50), dips and breads ($2.50-7.50) as well as the shawarma on a plate ($12.50-16.50). If you dine in you can also purchase tap and bottled beers and cider as well as tap wine with Shiraz, Moscato and Pinot Gris available in glasses or 1 litre jugs ($12-22).
Kazbah Souk’s bakery is open from 6AM with breakfast served on weekends from 8AM-3PM. Lunch is available in the bakery while dinner options are available throughout the restaurant from Wednesday to Sunday from 5pm. There are set menu options available for groups or there is an al a carte menu with starters ranging from $14-19, mains beginning at$34 and desserts are $14.
Kazbah Souk will take you on a magic carpet ride across continents and allow you to sample foods from different cultures and in different styles (from street varieties through to sweets and finer dining options). The souk looks set to be a much-loved addition to the Sydney food scene as it will offer so much to so many different people. If you’ve never tried Kazbah or if you love your Middle Eastern fare you must visit this Potts Point offering because your belly is guaranteed to dance with joy
KAZBAH Potts Point
9-15 Bayswater Road
Potts Point, NSW 2011
Phone: 1300 529 224 : 1300 KAZBAH
All photographs are by Splice Photography and were supplied and used with permission
Originally published on 27 January 2015 at the following website: http://www.theaureview.com/lifestyle/eat/kazbah-souk-potts-point-sydney
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