With sections of Darling Harbour currently undergoing major renovations, one could forget about the breadth of international cuisines that are dotted along Harbourside Shopping Centre.
Kazbah Darling Harbour
Kazbah at Darling Harbour is located at Harbourside and is part of the Kazbah group of restaurants which originated in Balmain and recently opened in Potts Point by owners Zahi and Penny Azzi. The cuisine takes inspiration from Lebanon and North Africa and the experience is one that reflects the hospitality of the region.
961 Lebanese Pale Ale & Arak
A glass of Ksarak Arak and 961 Lebanese Pale Ale are the perfect way to start the Royal Dinner Feast ($65 pp – min 8 persons) which consists of a 15 course spread spanning mezze, grilled meats and the more substantial tagines. A la carte dining is also available with prices shown for reference.
Hummus, Babaghanouj, Taramasalata & Bread
A trio of dips ($8 each) heralds the start of the feast with a silky smooth hummus made from chickpeas, smoky baba ghanouj made with eggplant and tahini and taramasalata with a fresh and zingy flavour that makes it the favourite of the three, accompanied by crispy wedges of fried Lebanese bread.
Rocket, Walnut & Quinoa Tabouli
Next is the Rocket, Walnut & Quinoa Tabouli ($14), a modern take on the classic that substitutes burghul for quinoa and comes served on lettuce leaves,
Fried Cauliflower, Eggplant Jam, Pinenuts, Yoghurt Tahini Sauce
and another vegetarian option with Fried Cauliflower ($15) and eggplant jam drizzled with yoghurt tahini sauce and pinenuts.
Spicy Lamb Mince & Pinenut Boreks, Tzatziki
Boreks come by the piece ($4 each) with a spicy lamb mince filling and pine nuts topped with tzatziki.
Kataifi Wrapped Prawns, Muhamara Sauce
Kataifi Wrapped Prawns ($6 each) sit on top of muhamara Sauce, a spicy dip made with walnuts.
BBQ Garlic & Harissa Marinated Octopus, Skorthalia
The BBQ Garlic & Harissa Marinated Octopus ($22) is tender to the bite and topped with a creamy skorthalia.
Whole Baked Baby Snapper, pistachio samke hara sauce
From the specialties comes the Whole Baked Baby Snapper ($34) topped with a pistachio and samke hara sauce but the fish was slightly overcooked to fully enjoy the combination of flavours.
Lemon Baharat Chicken Shish Kebab
The Lemon Baharat Chicken Shish Kebab ($32) makes a grand entrance on long skewers topped with a caraway capsicum crème fraîche and parsley pesto sauce served on a mixed nut pilaf.
Roasted Duck, Falafel, Honey Baked Quince
Duck is not often seen on Middle-Eastern menus and Kazbah’s Roasted Duck with Falafel and Honey Baked Quince ($35) is a delightful dish that is more reminiscent of French cuisine but with Middle-Eastern spices. Head Chef Wasim Shaikh explains that the duck is slow-cooked a day in advance and left to rest overnight in the rich sauce with ras el hanout spice, chermoula and red wine reduction which imparts more flavour to the meat. The result is a delicious dish worth ordering on the next visit.
Lamb Shank Tagine
An additional course is served. The Lamb Shank Tagine ($33) with prunes, carrots, kidney beans falls off the bone and melts in the mouth.
The Casablanca Royale Tagine
The best is yet to come with the Casablanca Royale Tagine ($68 for two people). Once the lid is lifted of the tagine, the aroma permeates the air and the 12 hour braised lamb shoulder with roast vegetables and sultana jam is nothing short of sensational.
Carrot Steamed Couscous, Rice Pilaf
The main sized dishes are accompanied with Rice Pilaf, a light and fluffy Carrot Steamed Couscous,
Fattoush Salad ($10) with tomatoes, cucumber, sumac and toasted Lebanese bread,
Chips with Kazbah Seasoning
and Chips ($10) sprinkled with Kazbah’s own seasoning.
At this point, one should leave room for dessert,
as the Kazbah Bomb ($28 for two) is not only spectacular but well worth every mouthful of Turkish delight ice cream, blueberries & Kurrant vodka.
Replacing the baklava on the menu is a new addition called Umm Ali ($12), a freshly-baked rosewater bread pudding with nuts and raisins made with croissants, Danish pastry with cardamom and cinnamon.
A Turkish Coffee ($4.50) with Turkish delight put an end to the feast, and all was left was to go on the balcony and smoke an apple shisha and watch the world go by against the backdrop of city lights.- something for next time.
The Royal Dinner Feast costs $65 per person and is available for groups of 8 or more and is compulsory for groups of 10 or more. If you’re dining a la carte, top picks are the trio of dips with hummus, baba ghanouj, taramasalata and bread; Kataifi wrapped prawns with muhamara sauce; Casablanca Royale Tagine; Roasted Duck with Falafel, the Lamb Tagine, and to finish, the Kazbah Bomb.
Harbourside Shopping Centre has almost 30 restaurants and cafés and you can take your taste buds on a food safari to India at Zaaffran restaurant, to Greece at Cyren, Italy with Criniti’s, Spain at Toros Tapas and Bar, China at Dragon Boat, Japan at Kamikaze and South Africa at Hurricane’s Grill.
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Kazbah Harbourside Darling Harbour
Shop 284 The Promenade Harbourside Shopping Centre
Darling Harbour, NSW 2000
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