You can always feel when a project has been built with heart and soul. Mama Morocco, the newest addition to the vibrant end of Carlisle Street exemplifies this. As you walk into the renovated Moroccan home/restaurant, you’re greeted by mama’s son (an uncanny Aladdin look-alike) in the bar to enthusiastically shake out whatever your thirsty quench desires, such as a ‘Shoshana’, Vanilla Galliano and orange blossom, garnished with juicy pomegranate pearls.
Further down the Arabesque, you notice the artistic decor, care of mama’s beautiful and creative daughter. Everything has a special touch, the drop down Arabian lights, illuminating Middle Eastern candles, subtle gold wall drawings on a white backdrop and mini pyramid tagines filled with salt & pepper. Follow the wafting aromas and keep travelling down this Middle Eastern adventure to pass the kitchen, only to find the woman herself. Mama Morocco proudly and humbly cooking the traditional dishes that have been passed down through many generations of her ancestors. Papa Morocco is there by her side to support this little gem in the making.
The abundance of tantalising food is as you’d expect at a Middle Eastern feast. Matbucha’ a traditional cooked salad has the right balance of spicy tomato, garlic and fresh green chilli. Carrot salad is like nothing any Aussie would have ever tasted in his own town, with interesting and unusual herbs that don’t just lift the dish but transport you to the other side of the world. Crispy chicken wings are marinated overnight, served with home made technia, a special sesame paste that is perfect for dipping. Fragrant meatballs are sautéed in a hearty sauce with secret spices and chunks of delectable eggplant. To soak up every smidgen of this rich dish is the roasted almond and sultana couscous. It has crunch, sweetness and like everything else, it has soul.
Who would have thought we’d be fortunate enough to be invited into the heart and home of a truly authentic, loving Moroccan family. Thank you Mama Morocco.
302 Carlisle st, Balaclava