CHECK IT OUT: Kasbah at the Fort Strip
Manila’s Marrakech moment!
The Fort Strip, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Tel. Nos. 0917-205-8802; 553-4499
Open from 11 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. (Monday to Thursday), 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Friday), 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Saturday), and 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. (Sunday)
Tagine for two? Click for more.
(SPOT.ph) Finally, another Boracay favorite finds its way to Manila. Our ever-growing culinary capital is experiencing its first Marrakech moment - tagines, hookahs, belly dancers, and all - thanks to Kasbah. It will have its grand opening tomorrow, August 16, so in time for that, we decided to check the place out.
Cool and hip Kasbah is much more than just a restaurant specializing in Moroccan fare. It offers a full feast for all senses. It is an exotic and entrancing lounge where one can sip a heady, well-made cocktail, experience the flavorful combinations of North African cuisine, while being enveloped in eclectic world music. "Music is very much a part of our DNA, as it provides a wonderful backdrop to the dining experience," says owner Madonna English. "We are never short of incredibly talented musicians, everyone wants to perform here."
Come for lunch or in the evenings, for it is when the sun sets that Kasbah comes alive and a sense of enchantment fills the room. Between 3 and 7pm on weekdays, you can enjoy 50% off on all cocktails, beer, and wine.
In the kitchen, Lebanese-Israeli chef Fadi Zaidan creates fragrant and intoxicating dishes featuring nuts and grains that are highlighted with the sweet, savory, and the spicy.
"Moroccans are well known for their love of wonderful food and generous hospitality - a trait that we Filipinos also have in abundance," English says. "From this stems a cuisine which is a unique blend of African, Arabian, and European influences, sure to wow the Filipino palate. They have mastered the art of marrying sweet and savory flavors, to which we can all happily relate."
Begin your meal with plates of Kemia (cold appetizers), which are served with warm pita. Try the Tangier Calamares (P375), a dish of stuffed squid with garlic-herbed rice, or the Merguez (P395), a flame-roasted Moroccan sausage with grilled halloumi cheese and red peppers.
Light salads are offered in solo and sharing portions. Our favorites include the marinated eggplant with tahini (P250), the refreshing Watermelon, Feta, and Olive Salad (P285 solo/P385 sharing), and the colorful Couscous and Chickpea Salad (P280/P380). Also popular are the pita pocket wraps, filled with your choice of lamb (P385), chicken (P330), or Merguez sausage (P395).
Try Kasbah’s signature Lamb Tagine (Solo P765/Sharing P1145). The Seafood Saffron Tagine, meanwhile, is filled with prawns, whitefish, mussels and squid, and is a wonderful fusion of flavors.
At the end of your meal, make sure to sip the sweet mint tea that is dramatically poured from Moroccan teapots with their distinct long, curved spouts, into a rainbow of whimsical etched glasses. For dessert, try the Cardamom and Pistachio Panna Cotta (P250), a delightful twist on an Italian classic. Equally enjoyable are the Crepes Maroc, a decadent delight of dates, fresh cream, Kahlua and Frangipane.
At Kasbah, food is where everything revolves - the quality and freshness of the produce and spices are tantamount. Nothing feels transactional about the Kasbah experience.
"We aim to provide warm, caring service to make your dining experience all the more memorable," continues English. "One way or another, you are bound to experience our very personal touch, the love, passion and soul that we put into everything- be it through the special way we blend our hummus, the quality of live music, or even just from the warm and welcoming smiles from our staff. You come in as our guest and are treated like royalty in every sense."
Photos by Miguel Nacianceno