I’ve been eating out way too much, but hey it’s the festive season and the weight can come off later. A good respite from the Chinese food overdose this month is heading to one of the little places in the Arab Street area. Deli Moroccan is one of my favourites for its friendly owners, unpretentious food and down-to-earth prices.
My friend is crazy over their mint tea. It comes in its special pot and stand. Pour the hot brew into your little mint-filled glass and slurp. It’s sweet, herbal and nicely astringent – a great accompaniment for pre-dinner people watching. For hot days, it also comes iced, but you only got a large plastic cup and none of the fancy paraphernalia.
Despite knowing how filling the mains are here, we unwisely ordered starters. The hammous was excellent: lots of chickpea and tahini flavour, and the olive oil swirled on top made it go down very smoothly. Too bad the pita bread was dry and tasteless.
The first of the mains was the tagine beef. Their version was a rustic version stewed with peas. Even though I’m not very big on peas, I enjoyed it immensely the combination of tender beef and grainy peas. Good idea too because peas could be slightly healthier (more fibre, more green stuff, more protein) than rice as a staple.
We were lucky that they were serving tagine lamb even though it wasn’t the weekend. I always feel that lamb makes for far better stews than beef. This hearty stew was packed with huge lamb chunks and topped with the rather unorthodox combination of french fries and toasted almonds. The lamb was slow-cooked till tender with the fat and cartilage melting into the stew (and my mouth). The almonds crunched beautifully even after soaking in the stew juices for a while, making the dish even more decadent.
Of course the two of us couldn’t finish the food. We got mock-stern reprimands from the boss lady and all three of us laughed as we traded the blame between us. The damage? $30 for two people.
P.S. On another trip over the weekend, I finally got my couscous fix. It was the biggest mound of food I’ve ever had at a restaurant, especially for that price. It was worth the wait. There was chunky lamb, there was couscous, there was a generous sprinkling of chickpeas. The flavours melded together beautifully and the best part was when I got a chickpea and it burst unexpectedly in my mouth. The smooth texture and lamby flavours were just to die for. Even though it was so good, I took away three-quarters of it and it fed me well for three more meals.
30 Bussorah Street
Tel: 9121 512