[New Haven, CT] Kasbah Garden Cafe

It’s a very casual place – down an alley behind some shop fronts. There’s a couple of tables inside but most are under trees in the garden which was nice on a pleasant June evening. It’s a short menu which leans towards Morocco for its main courses but generally relies on the cuisines of the Eastern Mediterranean, rather than North Africa, for its starters and other items, such as pitta sandwiches.

For starters we shared houmous and baba ghanoush. The houmous was OK but needed a lift from more lemon or tahini. The aubergine dish was much better. Not much of the usual smokiness but a nice, fairly coarse, texture and a good lemony flavour. There was pitta to scoop it up with.

It was definitely to Morocco for mains. Lamb tagine was a very generous bowl of long cooked meat and potatoes. Good quality lamb as well. There was more pitta to go with that. The other dish was a vegetable couscous – the grains lightly flavoured and coloured with saffron, served together with root vegetables. The issue with both dishes was that they were quite bland with none of the vibrancy from spices you expect from North African cooking. Nor was there any sauce/broth with the couscous, making it quite a dry affair.

Not a great success, unfortunately.

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