Food Social Global Feast Moroccan (Invited)

Friday, May 26, 2017 Sharon Halim 0 Comments

FoodSocial held their gathering at Sahara for their A-Z food journey. This time, the country was Morocco and we were sat in long tables of 3 as the platters came in generous servings that overwhelmed most of the tables. The ambience was great - Middle Eastern style lamps that were dimmed, tapestries on the terracota coloured walls that had the feel of being in a Moroccan market at night. Here's what we had.

We start with the usual warm welcome from PS and an introduction of what Food Social is really all about. Then we cheers with the welcome drinks, we always get at Food Social event. A routine that I have been involve of for almost a year now.

Spiced sausage & Lamb Kofta. This wasn't on the menu for the night so we weren't exactly sure. Maybe it's an extra from the restaurant. Lamb kofta was cooked well. Not liking lamb very much, the highly concentrated gamey, lamb taste really put me off the dish. The spices used were decent enough and everyone else at the table didn't mind it.

Calamari. Not exactly sure how deep fried calamari in aoli is Moroccan in any way, but the calamari was decent. It was fried alright, slightly soggy in parts as they served it in large platters (the bits at the bottom ended up less crisp than the ones on top) but it was seasoned well.

The falafels were really strange. It looked a little mushed, the filling was almost flavourless except for the random hints of mild mint. The texture was even weirder. It was very dry and ridiculously sticky at the same time. The sort of sticky that clings to your teeth and makes your mouth feel just plain odd. It was almost comical to see people's confused faces as they bite into these boys.

Vegetable tagine - slow cooked vegetables with chickpeas and fennel in spicy braise and pomegranate.
The chickpeas in the dish were dry which was weird as the tagine was supposed to be soupy. The tagine itself was bland and medicinal in taste. Goat tangine with artichokes and goat cheese. The goat tagine, was good. Not excellent, but definitely the best out of all the tagines served to us. I didn't like the goat's cheese, but all of the spices blended so well together and seeped into the meat. It was a very hearty dish, perfect for winter. Chicken tagine - cooked with preserved lemon, spices, thyme and pomegranate. Although the ingredients listed for this tagine is different from the goat tagine, it really just tastes the same. It just tastes and looks like a bland version of the goat tagine. The chicken was soft, but it didn't particularly absorb the spices much. 

Turkish Delight. Wow, this turkish delight was not pleasant to eat at all. I had an unfortunate lack of self-control and pacing, and put the whole turkish delight into my mouth. Now, friends, this was a big mistake. It was a massive sugar hit to the senses, and the overpowering scent of the rose just knocked me out. It was also oddly tough for a supposedly soft, and chewy morsel of a desert. Baklava. A good baklava is characterised by its fine, thin layers. This baklava is unfortunately very far from that. The texture resembled one of a puff pastry being left out for too long and you couldn't really taste the flavours or (weirdly) the crunch of the pistachios. 

Morroccan Creme Brulee. I was really looking forward to this. It was served lukewarm - not sure if this was the intention. It tasted very strongly of cinnamon and was slightly bitter - a little overpowering in my opinion. 

Overall, the dishes weren't too horrifically bad. The night was fortunately redeemed by the excellent company from my table, and PS great organisation skills. The restaurant took a long time to roll out the dishes and despite this, she maintained a nice social vibe to the dinner!

Sahara Restaurant

Sahara Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
1/301 Swanston St
Melbourne, VIC 3000