Tag Archives: Flavours

A taste of Morocco in Adelaide

The beauty about cuisine is that it tells a story. It is a moment of communion: it is about exploring new flavours, awakening your senses, it is also about sharing and enjoying the moment.

One of my favourites flavourful destinations is moroccans cuisine and its couscous, tajine and all its delightful little pastries that are so popular and beloved in my home country. You see between France and Morocco, it is a long story as we share a past together and as a result of colonisation, French influence can still be found in the Moroccan fondness for cafés culture, patisserie but also in the language as French remains one of the top languages spoken fluently in Morocco. So today I want to take you on a journey by giving you a taste of Moroccan’s cuisine.

Nested on the west side of Adelaide CBD in the cute Sturt street, you will find the Tea House/Restaurant/Shop Sahara Moroccan Casbah. Every Fridays, just like in Moroccan homes, couscous will be cooked and served following the ancient traditions. This generous and very distinctive dish requires a long time preparation, love and efforts as typically the week’s leftovers vegetables are used to prepare the stew and remember the secret lies in the broth! So traditionally couscous (semolina) would be steamed for hours in a special pot while at the same time a rich broth of vegetables, spices and meat will be prepared separately. But the beauty about this dish, using fairly simple ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, carrots, chickpeas and beef, lies in its amazing and beautiful flavours!

Enjoying a delicious homemade couscous and a mint tea!

Stepping into the restaurant Sahara Moroccan Casbah to enjoy a traditional couscous will literally transport you in another part of the world where ancient traditions are still very much part of everyday life. One bite and you will start a flavourful journey in Marrakech following the frenetic rhythms of the market and the souks, bargaining your way for a colourful carpet, a typical pair of leather slippers or maybe one of those mesmerizing silver lanterns, tassels, tiles hanging joyfully all over the place. A second bite and you will be walking in the colourful alleyways of the village of Essaouira and its streets filled of barrels of spices, fresh baked products and beautiful aromas. Next thing you know you will be wandering on the top of the High Atlas Mountains visiting its typical Berber villages but the journey would not be complete without enjoying a traditional mint tea with some delicious homemade Moroccan pastries in the Sahara desert.

No wonder I absolutely adore the Moroccan cafés culture, sitting at the terrasse enjoying the sun

But this degustation trip would not be the same without Ali Arhbal, the owner of Sahara Moroccan Casbah, the perfect ambassador of his beautiful country: generous, warm, hospitable, friendly and always happy to have a chat in multiple languages. We actually often have a chat in French when I visit and I can’t get enough of his fresh homemade Moroccan pastries… I have always had a sweet tooth… so for me Moroccan cakes, full of honey, almond, figs, dates and orange blossom are just paradise! Besides, visiting Ali’s shop is like venturing into a souk (market) or a tea house, filled with littles gems that you can’t find nowhere else such as those beautiful glazed earthenware tajine pots or those beautiful iconic lanterns . And the best part for the Adelaideans is that you don’t have to pack your suitcase to have a taste of Morocco, its story and its people, all you need is to head to Sahara Moroccan Casbah on the South/West side of the CBD and you will be greeted by Ali with a traditional mint tea when the act of pouring is part of the culture and nearly as important as the actual drinking while conversing!

Thank you, shukran, merci Ali 🙂

 

————————————————————————————-

Sahara Moroccan Casbah,

187 Sturt St, Adelaide SA 5000

Tel. 0450 490 781

Facebook link

  • Tea House/Shop (all week)
  • Restaurant/Couscous (Fridays only – lunch time)
  • Private events/Group reservations (on request)
  • Cooking classes (on request)
  • Shop: Tajine, pots, lanterns, tiles, furnitures, decorations from Morocco

I scream ice cream!!!

I know, I know… it is still winter in Australia, so an ice cream seems like the craziest idea. When all you want is to snuggle under a comfy blanket and just wait for summer… But sometimes, it is nice to remember that when it is cold here in the south hemisphere,  there are some other parts of the world that are nice and warm and it means that soon it will be our turn 😉

So before I scream for summer, maybe I’d just scream ice cream, like a magic prayer, so it will make summer come quicker! And when you hear these mouth watering words, there is a special place that comes to my mind where you get the best ice creams you can think of. I am not even sure I should share this secret with you because it is such an enchanted place. Maybe I should just keep it to myself so it is mine forever… but that would not be fair. Little gems like Kem CoBa must be shared ❤

So if you happen to go someday to Montreal in Canada and it is one of those warm days… then go to one of my favourite areas : the Mile End, it is definitely worth the walk. There are lovely boutiques, with some good vibes and a really nice trendy atmosphere. Look for the little pink and green shop and the queue on the sidewalk, because here is Kem Coba and its delicious homemade ice creams owned by a charming couple.

Cute ❤ this one is called “La romantique” and acts like a love filter! Forget about the traditional roses bouquet, this ice cream says it all!

Those people know how to make your heart melt. Who said that an ice cream would make you cold. Those “crèmes glacées” are just pure sweet love. Imagine what happens when a cute vietnamese baker meets a French baker…. it is all hearts and  ice creams!

Kem CoBa it s a bit like the Jacarandas in Australia announcing spring and summer! It is opened from May to September, best days in Montreal  😉

They are as beautiful as delicious. Besides they are all made with natural ingredients: so super healthy… well… as healthy an ice cream can be 😉 It is been years… but I still remember the lovely flavour of the Masala Chaï ❤ and I have heard that the “beurre salé” (salted butter) is reallyyyyy good too!

Dulce de leche and mangoes. Because in a perfect world, you don’t have to choose, you get both!

But the cherry on the ice cream is probably Kem CoBa’s famous “crème glacée molle” (soft ice cream). It looks like an italian ice cream to me with a torsade and double flavours and coulours! They have each week I believe a new combination: blueberries and honey, vanilla and passion fruits, dulce de leche and mangoes… I tried them all haha when I was in Montreal and I highly recommend to do the same. Besides trust me because normally ice creams are not my thing but Kem CoBa is the kind of place that turns a “never in my life” into a “normally not but this one is different”. Yes this is how good it is!

The soft vanilla from Madagascar allied to the exotic passion fruits because life needs this je ne sais quoi touch!

I could spend hours describing the vibrant colours, the exotic flavours of those sweet treats, the lovely texture, how they melt on the tongue leaving an exquisite taste but I guess the best way to really get the feeling is to go and try them all and tell me about it! So next time you go there, make sure to tell me what is your favourite!!!

 


Kem CoBa

Mile End

60, avenue Fairmount Ouest

kemcoba.com

Cash only

 

Spread the love

When it comes to spread, Americans have peanut butter, Europeans have Nutella and Australians have Vegemite!

Vegemite has a special and unique flavour. It is like the sword in the stone: only true Aussie hearts can enjoy it 😉 So I took my chance and bought a pot of this Australian sacred delight. This is how bad I ❤ Australia!

Vegemite is a kind of brown paste, very thick and dark in colour like waste oil. To me it smells like a loaf bread which stayed all the morning on a table outside a beach house. As for the taste, it was nothing like I would have imagined, it is VERY salty…  maybe as salty as the sea but with a kind of meat juice flavour.

 It is really a hit in Australia: people enjoy it on their toasts, in their sandwiches, crumpets…  I must confess I wanted to like it too so I really tried hard: spread on a toast (Ew), with tomatoes (Ew), with cucumbers (Ew), with walnuts (Ew). Nothing worked and it was so salty that I spent the whole night drinking water like if I had walked hours in the desert. I am sorry but honestly I did not like it at all 😦 it has a weird taste and the texture is not easy to work, I had difficulties to spread it!

Maybe there is something I am not doing right or maybe the legend is true: you have to be born and raised in Oz world to fully appreciate Vegemite, if not you are condemned to keep an horrible taste in the mouth and looking with envy at Aussie people savouring the mythical black paste as it was the best treat in the world!

What about you, are you a vegemite addict? Do you have any tips to enjoy it? Any techniques? I am curious to hear about it 😉

In the mood for indian food?

I recall a time of my life when I was addicted to Bollywood films and had a poster of Shahrukh Khan (also known as the Indian Tom Cruise) on my wall…  YES,  I confess I enjoy this kind of movies because they are romantic and lively, full of happy people dancing and singing and it is nearly as long as a cricket match 😉 …but what I enjoy more is Indian cuisine and its beautiful colours!

IMG_0894
Beautiful colours for your soul

As you know I am always keen on trying new restaurants! So a couple of days ago, I went to a place called Jasmin in Adelaide CBD and I spent a lovely time there I must say. This award winning restaurant is pretty popular and well located on the corner of Grenfell and Pultney street. The atmosphere is warm and cosy… very intimate! The night I ate in this restaurant there was a couple in a corner holding hands and having a romantic dinner… I bet they were celebrating an anniversary! As for me, I was in good company and we all had a  delightful evening.

IMG_0892
Delicious North Indian cuisine, lovely intimate atmosphere

Each dish was flavory and so appealing with beautiful colours. I particularly enjoyed their “feed me” menu where they prepare a wonderful selection for you based on your tastes… I am terrible at making decisions  with food since everything looks amazing so for me it is the perfect option! Furthermore I like to be surprised and discover new flavours! So they kept bringing a variety of mouthwatering dishes and I felt bad I could not finish all these delicious plates but it was a lot of food! It was also the opportunity to taste new things that I would probably not have picked myself like the Tandoori mushroom! What a beautiful discovery! Basically it is a large thick and tender mushroom marinated in spices and it tastes absolutely marvelous! Definitely a must try!

So next time you are in the mood for Indian food, don’t look further and let the Jasmin Chef surprise you and prepare a memorable meal that will delight your eyes and your palate ❤

Jasmin Indian Restaurant

31 Hindmarsh Square 

Adelaide SA 5000

Ph: (08) 8223 7837

http://jasmin.com.au