North African food is one of the less common types of cuisine found in Sydney, so when the opportunity arose to give it a go, my foodie senses couldn’t say no. Moorish Blue is located at McMahons Point, just a few blocks from the iconic Blues Point, with access to views of the stunning Harbour Bridge. The restaurant is decorated in hues of blue and is just as stunning as the harbour views – I feel like I’ve walked onto an interior design shoot characterised by the high ceilings, sandy coloured walls and elegant furnishings.
There’s quite a few dining spaces available including the ground floor (two rooms), upstairs and an outdoor courtyard. Tonight we’re dining upstairs on a large communal table and sampling a range of the dishes off their lunch and dinner menus.
Salt cod croquettes, zhoug – $15
To start off, we nibble on some of the salt cod croquettes served with zhoug (a Middle Eastern spicy herb and chilli pepper relish). Crispy on the outside with soft, mushy cod on the inside, it’s not that spicy but is very tasty, especially when paired with a squeeze of lemon.
Tunisian Brika – $16
The Tunisian brika is one of the more intriguing dishes on the menu. It’s essentially a turnover containing potato, tuna and also a runny egg inside. I loved how the pastry remained light and crispy, whilst the tuna inside was juicy. The egg yolk also goes well with tuna and is an unexpected combination.
Grilled squid salad, Moorish eggplant, chilli dressing – $18
A winner at Moorish Blue is definitely the squid. I don’t know how they cook it, but boy do the chefs have skills! The squid here is the most tender squid I’ve ever eaten – there’s still some chewiness retained, but overall it’s super soft. I really enjoyed the flavours in this dish, especially the chilli dressing which provided a spicy kick.
Wok-fried calamari, pearl couscous, okra, Tunisian paste – $18
Luckily for us, there was yet another squid dish in the form of fried calamari. Served with a spicy Tunisian paste, the flavours here left my mouth on fire, but luckily there’s a yoghurt weaved throughout the dish to help soothe the spiciness. I also enjoyed the pearl couscous which were soft and lovely to chew on.
Prawn, harissa, wok-fried – $23
Continuing with seafood, we enjoyed some prawns cooked in harissa (a chilli pepper paste). It’s a bit messy peeling off the shell but it’s definitely worth it as it has retained its juiciness and packs a lot of flavour.
Mutton backstrap, caponata (aubergine stew), fried okra, spiced yoghurt dressing – $38
By this stage I was quite full, but then came the heavy meaty proteins which we somehow managed to devour as well. The mutton appears to be quite a small portion for the price you pay, but thankfully it’s super tasty. It’s smoky in flavour and tender, going well with the eggplant stew on the side.
Cous cous royal, braised lamb, chicken & merguez – $33
Leaving one of the best dishes to last, a tagine was brought out revealing braised lamb, chicken and merguez (spicy lamb sausage). The chicken here is pretty average and I don’t think it needs to be here as the lamb is really the hero of the dish. I loved the braised lamb which was so sweet and tender, falling apart as I pulled at it with my fork. And then there was that spicy lamb sausage, which was packed full of spices. Topping it all off was a loose couscous, enhanced with raisins which added a beautiful sweetness. Definitely a savoury highlight of the night.
Dessert Platter (Orange Syrup Cake; Turkish Coffee Tiramisu; Pistachio Baklava; Rosewater Panna Cotta)
After finishing up all the savoury food, we moved out into the courtyard to enjoy a dessert platter and some shisha. There was a bit of everything on the dessert platter, but the table favourite was definitely the rosewater panna cotta which had a nice balance of sweetness with a light syrup on top.
Overall, Moorish Blue is a winner in my books. The food here is hearty, great for sharing and perfect for those cooler nights as winter creeps up on us. Coupled with a shisha option for those feeling a bit cheeky with a view overlooking the Harbour Bridge, there isn’t much you can fault about Moorish Blue.
Excuse Me Waiter dined as guests of Moorish Blue
139 Blues Point Road, McMahons Point NSW 2060
Ph: (02) 9929 8252