Harbourside Shopping Centre
Darling Harbour, Sydney

Kazbah Darling Harbour is one of three Kazbah restaurants scattered across Sydney - with others in Balmain and Top Ryde. They describe their restaurants as "The Taste of Arabia" but they have Phoenician, Arabic and African through to French, Italian and Spanish influences. It is this diversity that makes Kazbah such an exciting dining experience.

We started with fried cauliflower which came in a fairly sizeable serving. This was a fantastic dish and nothing like the usual bland boiled offerings when this vegetable is served.

The fried cauliflower was done in smallish pieces that weren't at all heavy. They were slightly crisp on the outside (but not crunchy) and they were full of flavour.

The combination here worked well but it was the lightness of each mouthful that was the most noticeable aspect.

The cauliflower pieces came with eggplant jam (which we hadn't tried before), pinenuts and a generous topping of yoghurt tahini sauce drizzled across the top.

Our next starter was kataifi wrapped prawns with muhamara sauce. This looked impressive on arrival with the prawn heads featuring as a garnish on top of the dish. Kataifi is a pastry that is shredded into stringy pieces and often used in Arabic dishes wrapped around seafood but also for sweeter offerings as well. The muhamara sauce - which is red pepper based - went perfectly. The whole combination of textures and flavours was delicious.
Our final starter was shadows of blue cheese stuffed madjool date wrapped with basturma. It was an interesting combination that may attract some while others may not think they are compatible. Basturma is a dried cured beef that is heavily seasoned. It has strong and distinct flavours. I loved it but Mlady wasn't quite as fond of it.

We enjoyed a lovely Merlot from Zema Estate in the Coonawarra wine region.

Our first main course was chicken breast stuffed with sucuk resting on top of a large corn fritter.

Sucuk is a sausage made from spiced beef and pork that is allowed to dry over several weeks. It was certainly stronger in flavour than the chicken breast but combined really well. The corn fritter - with Kasseri cheese in it - also added to the textures and flavours of this tasty dish.

Many people may shy away from choosing camel if they saw it on a menu. It's certainly a meat that isn't commonly found!

Kazbah offers camel kafta with brown lentil moujadara, Tunisian style ratatouille, date sauce and crispy fried onions.

It was wonderfully presented. The skewer is removed on arrival at the table leaving a long shish kebab of tender spiced meat that was delicious.

The dessert that captured our attention straight away was the "Kazbah Bomb for Two". It consisted of Turkish delight ice cream coated in soft meringue, garnished with blueberries and then flamed with Kurrant vodka. It was a dessert and a show all in one with the dish being ignited at the table. And then there was the taste of it! Wow - it was amazingly delicious. You could really taste the strong Turkish delight flavour of the ice cream. We loved it and devoured it all!

It's hard to eat at any Arabic restaurant and not have some baklava or Turkish delight.

We had the baklava and petit fours to share and had the best of both worlds with sweet almonds there as well.

Even though we were pretty full at this stage we still finished it all - and why not!

Kazbah has interesting and different food that will certainly delight food lovers. It's a place that gives you more than just great food though. The atmosphere is true to it's Arabic origins and the entertainment follows this theme as well - the music is traditional and they even had a belly dancer while we were there.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Kazbah. Special thanks to owners Zahi and Penny and to Daniella Leona of the Kazbah Group. Thanks also to Serdah and Matt for looking after us so well on the night.

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