After a little persuasion, I managed to get Damian, Gabriel & Ivan to check out Haji Lane located in Arab Street & explore dining within its relatively undiscovered gastronomical haven.
To me, Haji Lane is a getaway from the identical and extremely boring shopping centres that mushroomed all over Singapore. It offers a unique odd mix of rich Islamic historical with young funky street culture. Fortunately, most Singaporeans still prefer to shop within the comfortable air-conditioned environment hence free this enclave to the off the trail tourists and me. 🙂
We shopped around for a while before settling for this 2 storey shophouse restaurant named ‘Deli Moroccan’ along Bussorah Street.
Compared to the posh Turkish restaurant that is just directly cross the street , Deli Moroccan looked like a shabby rut. But having been seated by the ultra zesty waitress, we can only make our orders and pray for the best.
Alfresco dining along Bussorah Street offers a clear view of the historical Sultan Mosque also known as Masjid Sultan, the oldest mosque in Singapore. Fortunate for us, the evening was cool and breezy making it a really conducive for group dinner, date nights or simply friends chill out.
The Moroccan Mint Tea took a while to arrive in 2 of these mini silver pots with intricate markings. Mint leaves were placed within the glasses to enhance the flavor of the tea. Judging by the size of glasses, the tea is meant to be enjoyed in tiny sips. A guy can empty it in less than a mouthful.
The heat conducting metal pots need to be handled with care. The liquid within is scorching hot to effectively soak the mint leaves.
The color of the tea that eventually emerged is that of deep golden brown. Surprisingly, the tea tasted extremely sweet for mint leaves. A quick check on wiki confirmed our suspicion that tons of sugar has been added to suit local Singaporean preference. This is how authentic Moroccan Mint Tea is described:
The first glass is as bitter as life, the second glass is as strong as love, the third glass is as gentle as death.
Our lamb couscous with 7 vegetable ($16) came first. The sight was pleasing with our steamed couscous piled high with stewed meat and vegetables! Couscous looks like rice but is actually made of semolina. It doesn’t have much flavor on its own but it picks up the flavor of the other ingredients easily.
We applauded the treatment for the lamb. The meat did not have the usual gamey flavor or odor and is so well cooked that it offers a smooth & silky texture with every bite.
Next came the Chicken Tajine with Olives and Onions ($12). This tajines has been subjected to slow cooking at low temperatures hence producing tender chicken meat with aromatic vegetables and sauce. The stew is thick and rich in flavor but there is seriously an overdose of potatos. More chicken, less potato is preferred.
Moroccan Chicken & Lamb Skewers ($16) looks really close to our satay! Accompanied with fries and mayonnaise this dish hardly look moroccan. Despite its doubtful origins, the meat was roasted to perfection – great texture and flavorful. This is one of their must order!
The final dish on the table was Maklouba ($15) which literally means upside down! It is made with layers of chicken, sauté eggplant, onion and potatoes topped with yogurt and special sauce. The chicken is tasty but a little tough compared to the lamb. The yogurt is refreshing & we used it to accompany the meat & vegetables but we are not too sure if we are using it the intended manner. Aiya just eat lah 😛
The rice used is alot longer than the usual that we have at home or at Japanese restaurants. The rice is bland but it taste wonderful with the special red sauce that comes along with the dish…. it took us a while to realised that… argghhh..
Overall an adventurous & rewarding meal! Glad we took the plunge and went off the usual path. Here the full details of the restaurant:
Deli Moroccan Restaurant
30 Bussorah Street
Tel: 6298 0113
You may also like to check out my posts on other delicious food places here