Monday, December 8, 2008

Shopping and eating - a typical Saturday

It was the final Good Living Growers’ Market at Pyrmont for the year last Saturday, so I felt an effort had to be made to go. Unavoidable circumstances conspired against me going more than once this year, what with bad weather, weekend sleepins, laziness, etc.

It was stinking hot on Saturday, even at the relatively early hour of 9am. It didn’t stop an eager throng from crowding the stalls, queuing for bacon rolls and looking for a shady spot. I only bought some passionfruit butter because it was too hot to carry much else (even though bf acts as pack horse, luckily). Also sampled some Ladysmith Lamb, which was being barbequed – it was delicious, and will definitely be on the shopping list when we get our new barbeque.

Also being promoted in the hot sun was next October’s revamped Good Food Month (International Food Festival?). It looks to be a corker and they lined up some top Sydney chefs to do a bit of an advance soft sell. See picture below.

After the markets, we adjourned to yum cha at East Ocean (we were going to go to Zilver but honestly, I couldn’t walk another step and East Ocean was closer). It was a bit of a disappointment (esp. after the great
foodbloggers yum cha a few months ago). The service was slow (we waited 10 mins for tea and napkins to arrive), and the food trolleys were very sparse. So after some desultory dumplings, I adjourned home for lie down before heading out for dinner at Kazbah in Balmain.

We haven’t been to Kazbah since the start of the year, and it continues to maintain a high standard of food and service. It’s always interesting to read the menu here because it’s like doing research at school – you have to keep referring to the handy glossary to see what Kibbeh Nayeh, basturma and chevizli are.

The food was fantastic. We normally go with the shared mezze plate to start, but knowing that the servings here are not small, felt that we wouldn’t be able to fit it all in. So we had separate entrées for a change. Good move, because although the mains took a while to arrive, when they did, bf’s main of beef fillet was huge. It was cooked ‘blue’ as he requested, and I had a taste and it was melt in the mouth. Our waiter had explained that my dukkah lamb was prepared to medium-rare, which was fine with me. But when it arrived, it was more medium which made it a bit dry. The flavour was good though. When the waiter noticed that I hadn’t finished the lamb, I said it was overcooked. He went away, then came back and offered complementary dessert as compensation. That is so nice, and observant!

I felt that it would have been rude to refuse the dessert, although I was pretty stuffed at this stage, so I ordered the chocolate Eton mess, thinking that the meringue in it would be light. Not quite – the serving was massive, but I still managed to make a bit of a dent in it. Some Moroccan mint tea helped with the digestion. And sorry for the quality of the photos – we started when it was light-ish, and we were there for such a long time that it was quite dark when we finished (romantic darkness is no good for food photos!).

I really like Kazbah, it’s a professional operation with great food. They also have a sister restaurant, Sumac, in Darling Harbour.


  1. Oohh yuummmmm Kazbah looks really really good... must gooo!

    and boo i missed out on seeing the great chefs :(

  2. What a great Saturday you had! I didn't make it to the markets alas, but glad you did!

    Been ages since I've been to Kasbah too, although the chocolate Eton mess doesn't look messy at all! Good to hear you got a free dessert though!

  3. hi Ffichiban - you should go to Kazbah after your next visit to Zumbo!

    hi Helen - the dessert was very yum (even more so because it was comp!).

  4. Sadly, I haven't been to the Growers Market in ages. Never on at the right time for me! :P Will get there again eventually though, if I ever get a weekend off.

    Ras el Hanout soft shell crab sounds rather yum!

  5. hi Y - shame you have to work on weekends. There's no market in January, so you'll have to plan for a day off in Feb!