A few weeks ago Adelaide Food Central went to Inside Morocco to check out the new café area and sample the special tapas version of their menu. This week we returned to the mesmerising lantern decorated restaurant to try the dinner banquet.
We start our feast with a dip platter. Crispy crudité of capsicum, carrot, celery and cucumber are piled generously on the platter with crunchy pita crisps. The bread portions have been dry oven baked to crispy perfection. All this is to facilitating the consumption of the trio of dips, a sweet and airy Pumpkin and Walnut dip, a thick Hommus with accents of lemon and garlic and Shakshouka, a chunky salsa style dip of tomato and capsicum and beans that is liberally spiced with cumin.
It is no surprise that we have traditional tagines for main course; we are Inside Morocco after all. We enjoy a Lamb Tagine with Prunes Almonds and Sesame that is rich and meaty. Being lamb it lends itself to a high fat content and I did find that the fat lingered in the mouth. Plump prunes add sweetness and whole blanched almonds provide a much needed crunch. The meat is fall apart tender, cooked so well it shreds with a fork and melts on the tongue.
A House Salad with a light balsamic dressing perfectly counters the grease from the tagine. It’s a basic garden salad of rocket, cucumber, tomato, feta, with some added black beans. It doesn’t need to be any more complex, it does its job of refreshing the palate nicely.
The Chicken Tagine with Potato, Preserved Lemon and Olives again has incredibly tender meat. We are told the secret is to drench the meat in Moroccan spices (paprika, cumin and turmeric) prior to slow cooking. Big chunks of potato are extremely satisfying with the chicken thighs. There is a hint of the touted preserved lemon and olives, but I would have liked these flavours to be more powerful.
There is nothing to pair with Tagine like Cous Cous and this cous cous was impeccable. We have all encountered a cous cous that was gluggy or stodgy but this was so light it reminded me of the inside of a bean bag. Miraculously this cloudlike cous cous is fully flavoured with butter and a sprinkling of cinnamon. I have no idea how they have packed in so much buttery flavour without creating a greasy heavy mess and I want answers!
We finish off with a taste of the 3 cakes that feature on the dessert menu. A Cheesecake with a delightful gingersnap base and cream cheese filling, Orange Cake made with whole boiled oranges and almond meal that has a strong, rich marmalade flavour and a dense Pear Cake, lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. All three cakes were of a high standard, served up with whipped cream you can’t go wrong.
We were delighted with our return to Inside Morocco. We enjoyed our well-rounded balanced meal that was tasty and satisfying. Making the experience even more pleasurable were the friendly and accommodating staff. This is a place to keep an eye on as it continues its transition from shop to eatery.
Words by Kate Wilkinson
WHERE: 149 Magill Rd, Stepney