In Short: Honest, hearty, delicious, generous Moroccan food delivered with a smile. Order the lamb tagine, and spicy cigars, that’s a must. For dessert, you cannot leave without trying the sfenj.
Morocco has always held a level of intrigue to me. Medinas, a storied history, palaces, souks and many medieval cities ensures that it sits very high on my bucket list. In the meantime, while the priorities of raising a family take first place, there’s always a Moroccan Feast in Randwick to at least sate my appetite. When the fine folks at Ompty Media alerted us to this little bit of north Africa in Randwick, there was no holding me back. What made the night infinitely more enjoyable was dining with Lisa from Weekendfoodesscapes and her partner. Walking into Moroccan Feast, I was instantly transported to a medina. There’s a real warmth to the space and the walls are adorned with beautiful ornate mirrors and lanterns that have been brought in from Morocco. The lighting is soft and intimate and makes for a peaceful dining atmosphere.
While taking in the surrounds, combined with catching up with our food buddies, we barely glance at the menu. Instead, we leave it in the hands of our hosts to serve us the best of the menu. We start of with a house made bread that is thick, yet so fluffy.
There’s beautiful texture to the bread, it’s so easy to go back for a few slices and it works perfectly with the creamy hummus that is served with the Agadir Feast. Speaking of the hummus, it’s smooth with the nutty flavours of the chickpea beautifully balanced by cumin, olive oil and sprinkles of sumac.
Falafels have a dark roasted, coarse and crunchy exterior, but bite into them though and your mouth is greeted with a bouquet of herb flavours. The filling of the falafel are a bright green colour owing to its base of coriander and parsley. I love the lightness of these little balls and how they remain moist.
A real gem on the entree menu are the spicy cigars. Crispy filo pastry that crunches with each bite, with spicy beef as a filling. It’s not chilli hot, yet there’s a distinctive peppery heat that comes through. Dipping into the tahini sauce will quell the heat and incorporate the zesty citrus flavour of the tahini. A complete and compelling entree!
For those giving meat a miss, there’s myriad of dishes on the entree section to definitely keep you happy for your first course. Spiced chickpea is not heavy on the heat yet delicious and nicely textured. Vegetable pastilles incorporate potatoes, onion, garlic, freshly ground spices and absolutely burst with flavour.
Good thing there are three boys there to demolish the spread of entrees, because that’s just a precursor to a triple play of tagines. Piping hot terracotta pots arrive to the table with a fish, lamb and chicken offerings. For all of us at the table, the lamb tagine will define our experience at Moroccan Feast. Lamb that was soft and needed only a prod of my spoon for the meat to fall apart. A sweet flavour ran through the lamb, helped by sultanas, apricots and prunes. Countering the sweetness in the background were spices comprised of coriander, turmeric and cinnamon. It all comes together to deliver. The slow cooking of the lamb over a number of hours allows the ingredients to work their way through, yet the lamb is not overly cooked either, still a nice pink, indicating perfection in the cooking process. It’s a standout dish, and no visit is complete without sampling Moroccan Feast’s lamb tagine.
A second tagine of chicken is aromatic and beautifully spiced. Thighs of chicken fillet remained moist with the earthy flavours of mushroom, and the beautiful aromas of saffron. Pickled lemon sauce cuts through the richness of the gravy and delivers a tangy counter note to mellow spiced flavour of the tagine.
Rounding out this brilliant trio is a fish tagine. Chunks of barramundi sit with chickpeas and chilli along with coriander, turmeric and paprika marinade. I still tasted the flavours of the fish, but really appreciated the spices that add a nice body.
We round out a perfect evening with two desserts. First up is Moroccantini. While I doubt it’s strictly a traditional Moroccan dessert, I love Moroccan Feast’s adaption with vanilla ice cream partnering with crushed cookies, sesame sauce and date honey. I enjoy the nutty flavour of the sesame sauce, textures of the cookie with the sweetness of the date honey.
You recall that I had mentioned that I barely glanced at the menu when I first arrived, but for the few seconds I did, I had mentally made a note to ask about sfenj later on in the evening. Funnily enough there was consensus at the table that we weren’t leaving without trying the Moroccan take on doughnuts. Funnily enough, it’s not far off the cinnamon doughnuts I grew up with. The difference is that these doughnuts, while larger than their American cousins, are so soft and pillowy. Traditional doughnuts can be quite heavy and doughy but not these. It exceeded my expectations, and be sure to add these to your list of eats to try at Moroccan Feast.
If you have never tried Moroccan cuisine previously, Moroccan Feast would be the ideal restaurant for your first foray into North African cuisine. A spread of food that is diverse, with incredible flavours, that is backed up with impeccably warm service.
*Coco and Vine dined as guests of Moroccan Feast and Ompty Media