Saturday, 27 October 2012

The Moroccan Soup Bar...and those sweet sweet baked chickpeas

When people told me to arrive at the all vegetarian Moroccan Soup Bar early, little did I know how precious this pearl of wisdom would be. I thought it's opening time of six pm would surely allow me to beat the rush, but apparently not so. When I arrived the restaurant was still closed, yet there was a queue of at least twenty people winding up St George's Road and when the doors finally opened to the eagerly awaiting crowd (including couples, hipsters, families and some seriously cute kids) I just managed to nab the final table. After my experience here, I can indeed concurr that it is most definitely worth the hype.

It doesn't look like much, from either inside or out, but from the moment you recieve your complimentary cup of steaming pepermint tea you know your stomach is going to be one happy chappy of an organ. My friend and I feasted (and I quite literally mean feasted) on the Standard Banquet which you get for one crisp 20 dollar note. Thats right, for just twenty bucks you too can eat so much you feel as though you have hommus coming out your eyeballs (Note To Self: See if this is actually scientifically possible...if so, consume eye dip). We began with a plate full of hommus, baba ganoush, spiced yogurt and pickled vegetables served with a basket of warmed flat bread. Good start, but don't overeat here (tis the fool who fills up on bread! curses to you delicious flatbread!), because next you'll be greeted by a plate of lentil dahl with two types of pilaf and more spiced yogurt, a delicously gooey vegetable tagine sweetly sitting in tomato sauce atop couscous and then, there's the baked chickpeas. Honestly, there is only one way to describe them, amazballs. perhaps even incrediballs (Note To Self Number Two: Ensure that 'incrediballs' makes it into the official Oxford English Dictionary). Covering wonderfully oiled and crispy shards of flatbread these chickpeas are ensconced  in a delectable hommus and sprinkled with spices. You'll laugh, you'll cry, they'll change your life. No me, I would never joke about chickpeas. Afterwards you'll be offered coffee and sweets but after so much kingly eating I would take my Mimco fascinator off to you if you could manage to fit in anything else.

So, for a great night of mass and cheap eating, a family friendly vibe with no pretention whatsever and dreams of chickpeas to haunt you through the night, then head to the Moroccan Soup Bar. It's well worth the wait...but better yet, get there early. Like, really early.

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