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!
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.
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 🙂
187 Sturt St, Adelaide SA 5000
Tel. 0450 490 781
- 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