Out of Africa
43-45 East Esplanade
Manly, Sydney

Executive Chef/Owner and author Hassan M'Souli has created an exotic and charming restaurant in Manly that's almost been kept hidden by loyal locals who heavily visit it for a taste of Africa. Out Of Africa is almost across the road from Manly Wharf - in fact it actually looks out to it. The Moroccan government has even commended him for his outstanding contribution to promoting Moroccan cuisine in Australia.

The decor here is great - the uniqueness of the African artefact's around the room almost transports you there - it has a great feel to it verging on tribal, There's even black and white "zebra" prints on the bench seats and the high back chairs add even more atmosphere. It's also a decent sized place seating 110 (and even going to 120 at a pinch for a party).

Starting a meal with a cocktail is so nice - especially when it's a tasty African Punch. It was a killer drink for a hot day - served in a cocktail glass looking very inviting with vibrant red colour and garnished with a strawberry and a slice of orange.

The African Punch was made from vodka, Bacardi, triple sec, port, red wine and of course fresh fruit.

We left the dishes in the hands of the staff of Out Of Africa and the first dish was a lovely fresh salad of fig, labna, goats cheese, scallops and pomegranate.

It was very pretty with the pomegranate dotted around a tasty pile of ripe figs and tender scallops.

All the textures and flavours went well together in this fresh and light dish.

We sipped on some lovely global wines as well - Sir on a 2013 Dry Pinot Gris from Drumsara Central Otago in New Zealand and Mlady on a 2013 Pinotage Rose from Swartland Winery in South Africa.

Next we had the Soul Sardines - fresh filleted sardines marinated in a blend of exotic herbs and spices, lightly pan-fried and immersed in a spicy tomato sauce

Oh this was good, an amazing dish. The spicy tomato sauce had bite and we loved the preserved lemon on top - so underutilised these days,

It was great from colour to taste and we enjoyed the mild crunchiness from the pan frying.

It's hard not to have a tajine when eating Moroccan - so we had the Moroccan Meat Balls Tajine - a signature dish of Out Of Africa.

It was spicy Kefta balls made from lean minced beef simmered in a delicious sauce of tomato, onion, garlic, spices and green peas, as served in the Harem. 

We loved that everything combined well and we also loved the spiciness,

Sir loves his lamb dishes so we were lucky to have the Sud Afric Lamb Sosaties - another signature dish.

It consisted of tender lamb backstrap marinated, char grilled and served on a bed of dried fruit flavoured rice with sour cream and sweet madras apricot sauce.

It was sweet, meaty and tangy - all things good. The meat was extremely tender too.

Of course cous cous is a must when you're eating Moroccan food.

It's kind of like having rice with Asian food - perfect to soak up the delicious sauces and juices that go with the main courses.

It went particularly well with the spicy meatball sauce - we just kept eating and eating!

The topping on the cous cous was great too.

We were spoiled with a trio of desserts.

The creme brulee was great - so rich and creamy with a nice crunchy crust on top.

The indulgent Moroccan chocolate cake was amazing. It was a rich flourless Moroccan cake, a combination of buttery nuts, sweet ripe dates and dark chocolate.

It was served warm and we devoured it all - every last crumb.

Last but not least was the date and Kahlua crepes - lovely thin crepes served with a rich but delicious crepe sauce of date and Kahlua.

It was coupled with house made strawberry and vanilla ice cream.

You have to finish your meal at Out Of Africa with some Moroccan mint tea - it's a must try! Apart from having some very refreshing tea to drink - it's the show you get when the tea is poured at the table from a great height to aerate it. It's quite spectacular and a real eye catcher. 

Out Of Africa is an exotic hidden oasis that is really worth discovering. The food is great, exciting, big flavours and beautifully presented. Service is attentive and it's an experience there too!

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Out Of Africa. Special thanks to the inspirational Hassan M'Souli for having us. Thanks also to Thomas and Dario for looking after us and also to Zoe and Jasmine for arranging everything.

Out of Africa on Urbanspoon