Review: Kazbah on Darling, Balmain

Booked a big table for the breakfast brunch. Despite this, we were kept waiting for more than 30 minutes, before being seated with crayons and white butchers paper to amuse us. We were assured that our seating was delayed so that we could get a table that wouldn’t have a subsequent booking after us, and we wouldn’t have to rush our meal.

Understandably, they were quite busy on a Sunday morning, but we were then asked for our drinks order, and it took 30 minutes for them to arrive – and they did around the time of the second course.

I was super excited when I saw mint tea on the menu – thinking of the fresh mint tea from the Moroccan Soup Bar in Melbourne, which is a favourite. Unfortunately, it turned out to be dry powdery mint leaves, and nothing like the refreshing beverage I had been hoping for.

It took at least 15 minutes to get our first course: sweet couscous with cardamon milk, date porridge, and the star: rice pudding with caramelised walnuts. That was sweet and yellow, and dessert-like. Dairy/milk elimination diet went out the window – I had forgotten to specify beforehand, so I tucked in. Yum!

Second course: Eggs several ways on a platter of turkish bread. We had a choice of poached, scrambled and fried. I tried a little of the scrambled, and some of the perched and they were also delicious. This also came with a platter of spicy chorizo sausage, bacon and roast tomato. We had been discussing how to make the perfect hash browns – I had been explaining that since I had had such delicious hash browns in the USA, it had been very hard to go back to the frozen hash browns available in Australia. After all that build up, unfortunately, the round discs here were obviously frozen and deep fried, and they weren’t even crunchy!

Third up: Tagine, vego or spicy meat. I only managed to get a photo of the vego before everyone dug in; I have to say, the spicy meat (lamb) with tomato and egg cracked on top was my favourite of the two. I like pumpkin, but I find its taste overpowers everything with the sweetness.

Finally: Pancakes! I was expecting a big stack of pancakes, but instead, we got a very thick, cake-like thing that look like it had been cooked in a tagine sized dish. The chocolate and raspberry ‘pancake’ with butterscotch sauce was very sticky, sweet and gooey. When this cooled (and we were pretty full, so it did cool), the butterscotch sauce set like toffee, and it was hard not to lose a filling. The alternate pancake flavour was strawberry with maple syrup, and it seemed almost too plain.

We didn’t have much more time left for chit-chat and catching up: despite the earlier assurances, we were hurried out pronto. I guess cover is a cover, and Sunday trade being the busiest day, they had their eyes on the dollars.

Bookings highly recommended.

Kazbah on Darling
379 Darling Street – Balmain 2041
Phone: (02) 9555 7067
Fax: (02) 9810 5355
Breakfast – Tuesday to Sunday 8:00am – 3:00pm
Lunch – Tuesday to Sunday 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Dinner – Tuesday to Saturday 6:00pm – Late

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