As I walk through the entrance of Stepney’s Inside Morocco, I feel like I have stepped into a vibrant, Mediterranean enclave, set unassumingly on Magill Road. There is something exciting to look at on every wall and in every corner. Colourful stained glass lanterns hang from the ceiling, intricate brass trays and candle light holders on the walls and exquisite carpets and plush ottomans on display like you would see at a bustling souk in Marrakech. Everything you see is available for purchase.
Inside Morocco is the only Moroccan concept store in Adelaide, offering a variety of home wares and also styling and decor for Moroccan events. The newest addition is the cafe in the front of the store which has an all day breakfast and lunch menu which we had been invited to sample.
In Arabic, Shakshouka loosely translates to “all mixed up”. This first dish we try is a popular vegetarian option at brunch. Prepared and served in a single dish, it is a mixture of tomatoes, red and green capsicum, black beans, spices, topped with a runny poached egg and served with sourdough toast.
The Lamb Tajine and Chicken Tajine are served with fluffy couscous and crisp flatbread. These dishes are named after the pot (usually made of clay or ceramic) in which they are slow-cooked in. The tender pieces of lamb shoulder are spiced and cooked with prunes, which add a tinge of sweetness to the dish, and the almonds throw in some texture into the mix. Not usually a fan of lamb in general, I surprisingly really enjoyed this dish and would not hesitate to recommend this even to those who do not have an affinity with this meat.
If you are not as keen on the idea of combining sweet and savoury, the Chicken Tajine with preserved lemon and spices with potatoes varies in the type of flavour. The pieces of chicken are juicy and succulent, and the mixture of spices and juices from the chicken with the tangy lemon forms a flavoursome juice on the bottom of the tajine.
Next, we had the Chicken Skewers. I would not put it past anyone to order this favourite as an entree, a side, a snack or a small main. The chicken pieces had been marinated in those rich Moroccan spices and of course these spices shine through, complimenting the juicy chicken after being grilled over a fire.
Keeping with the Mediterranean theme, the Falafel Roll dressed with tahini, spinach and alfalfa brings a lovely earthy and nutty variation to the other items which were more rich in spices. The tahini is smooth in consistency and adds a different nuttiness to that of what can be tasted in the chickpeas from the falafel.
The Moroccan Spiced Lamb Burger is comprised of a succulent lamb mince patty with, you guessed it, Moroccan spices; layered with melted Swiss cheese, lettuce and fresh sliced tomatoes. It is then covered in what cook Tamika calls Moroccan mint Tzatziki, which balances out the spices by introducing creaminess into the equation.
To offer something for everyone, the classic Reuben Toastie is also available. The pulled corn beef melts in your mouth together with the wholegrain mustard dressing which adds a kick of acidity, along with the sharpness of the shaved Swiss cheese, pickled cabbage (sauerkraut) and sweetness of the caramelised onion sandwiched between a wholemeal roll. A true medley of flavours, if you ask me.
Other items on the menu include smoothie bowls, fresh salads and gourmet wraps. Give Inside Morocco a visit for your next brunch and walk out with a satisfied appetite, and possibly an exquisite conversation piece from Morocco to put up at home.
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm, Saturday and Sunday fro 9:00am to 5:00pm, and by appointment in the evening for groups of 10 or more.
Words by Yasmine Yusuri
WHERE: 149 Magill Rd, Stepney