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kazbah, top ryde

July 17, 2014

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I’ve been all out of beans recently.

Not that I’m usually full of them. I’ll have two or three on a good day. Half a bean of energy on others.

Recently, none.

So it seemed fitting that my first breakfast out in months involved, well, legumes. (Beans).

And so, a Saturday morning with friends. Booked weeks in advance and very nearly thwarted by a late sofa delivery.

We made it, though. Me on foot, trotting down a stretch of Victoria Road in my pony skin boots and Koji quite a bit later in our funny little hatchback.

(Bean count: one-half, mainly from anticipation & the endorphin boost from my trot)

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But first, drinks.

There is a choice between the $30 banquet menu and the $40 menu, the latter including unlimited orders of hot drinks. Wary of filling our bellies with liquid in lieu of food, we went with the former and ordered our drinks on the side.

Whilst Turkish coffee seemed the order of the day, I found myself more than pleased with my large pot of hot Chahi, a sweet, milky Yemeni tea that seemed almost bottomless. Almost.

(Bean count: almost one. Sweet tea will do that.)

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Half an hour after we planned to start, the last of our group arrives.

(The last, that is, except for Koji, who is still a kilometre down the road waiting for our sofa.)

Fifteen minutes after that, the food.

(Bean count: one-half. I didn’t have pre-breakfast and my belly is grumbling.)

Three deep dishes.

The first contains toasted, sweet couscous topped with mixed nuts, dried fruit and, intriguingly, squares of pink turkish delight. It’s accompanied by a dish of stewed rhubarb and two jugs of milk – one flavoured with cracked pods of cardamom. It’s like a spiced, soft cereal and the perfect start to the heavier dishes to come.

A bowl of steaming hot banana porridge is second. Slightly sweetened and full of plump barley and oats that pop in your mouth as you bite down. Brown sugar and compote on the side for sprinkling. Comfort food at its milky, fibre filled best.

The last, gloriously yellow hued bowl is filled with a warm rice pudding, studded with saffron poached pears and crunchy hazelnut bits and bobs. It is as luscious as it is sweet and, after eating as much as we should, we set the bowl aside to accompany our dessert course, guarding it carefully against premature removal.

(Bean count: one. ONE! I have a bean!)

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With the first course cleared, tagines come flying thick and fast.

Our group of twelve attracts three large tagines – one each of pumpkin and lamb and the third, a “half-and-half”.

The lamb tagine, flavoured with sucuk, feta, spinach, roasted capsicum, caramelised onion, roasted tomato and topped with not-at-all-oozy-eggs is spicy, bitey and flavoursome. We meter the flavour with slices of toasted pita and turkish bread. The boys are sated.

My interests, however, are drawn by the pumpkin version with it’s yielding orange flesh, slightly caramelised, headily spiced. I smear the chunks on bread, sprinkle lamb atop from the other tagine and bite into my own, personalised bruschetta.

(Bean count: three. Three! How did that even happen? I’m laughing! Talking about holidaying! Playing with my hair without tearing it from the roots!)

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And just when we’ve started to lapse into a hot food reverie, more arrives.

(With Koji! Who has also arrived! Extra bean for me!)

Rashers of bacon, lamb merguez sausage, grilled haloumi, roasted tomatoes and round, crisp pucks of hash browns. Bowls of spiced baked beans, sauteed spinach and garlicky mushrooms.

And eggs!

“Are you even allowed to eat that many eggs in one sitting?” asked Ruby.

“One sitting? How about one day?” replied Phil.

“Can I have a poached one, on turkish please.” asked I, oblivious.

We munched on.

(Bean count: Two and a half. It was three and a half, but I used one trying to digest the food and contemplating how much more I could eat.)

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The answer, it seems, was “no more”.

When the pancakes arrived – more cake than flapjack – I nibbled at a slice and pushed my plate away. We’re told there was one banana and two strawberry, but the flavour was mainly butter cake. I’m not even sure where the advertised chocolate and raspberry pancake with ice-cream got to because it most certainly didn’t arrive while we sat there, digesting our meals in the sun.

No matter, I had the rest of the rice pudding to eat and a brand new sofa to nap on after slowly managing my way back home with my newly collected beans.

Kazbah, Top Ryde

La Piazza
Top Ryde City Shopping Centre
Cnr Devlin Street & Blaxland Road
Ryde, NSW 2000

Breakfast from 8am to 3pm on Weekends
Bookings essential for large groups on 9555 7067

 


  • #1
    July 18th, 2014

    I’ve still not been to Kazbah (any of them) and I do so want all the banquet things! As for beans… plant the next one you find, grow a vine and climb up to the land of the giants. Then bring both of us back a golden egg, please. xx

  • #2
    July 18th, 2014

    Have had the banquet brunch twice before and I’m always done before the pancakes come out! They are rather cakey though.

  • #3
    July 22nd, 2014

    ooh I do love the breakfast banquets at Kazbah, especially the tagines and the rice pudding!

Shez