Labeled as a “restaurant that is a feast for all the senses” Kasbah does not disappoint.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the vibrant city of Hong Kong is a Moroccan restaurant that is quietly making a name for itself by word of mouth, reputation and of course its cuisine. I visited the restaurant because a friend had been there from a previous trip to Hong Kong and enjoyed it so much that he wanted to go again.
A few blocks away is the loud, boisterous, and somewhat gaudy Lan Kwai Fong where many of the expats and tourists alike congregate around the bars, nightclubs and restaurants as well as on their steps. Literally, people just hang out and drink and laugh and talk on the steps of those establishments. If that is not your particular brand of vodka, as Danny Ocean would say, then I suggest you take a trip away from Lan Kwai Fong, cross Wyndham Street, walk up some stairs decorated with orange metal that has been constructed and fitted to be used as a seating area and at the top of the stairs make a left and within a few short minutes you will be at Kasbah.
Once through the large and dark wooden door you are transported away from Hong Kong. There aren’t any large neon signs or crowds of people in your way but the traditional North African music and aromas from around the room help to drown out the busy city just beyond the door.
As you sit down you are treated to comfort and relaxation in the form of cushioned couches and chairs. The menu is diverse and has something for everyone ranging from the traditional Tagine – the “terracotta cooking pot in which the classic Maghreby mix of sweet and spiced fruit, vegetables and meat is slowly simmered” to a pita filled with grilled lamb.
For starters, I recommend the homemade hummus, pita and tabbouleh. Everything is fresh. The hummus is divinely prepared and presented along with warm, freshly-baked pita that makes you wonder how you could ever buy flat pita bread from the market ever again. The tabbouleh is created with care and you can see that it is hand cut and not run through a Cuisinart and ruined by being turned into a mush.
The delivery of the Tagine is eye-catching and when it is presented in front of you and the top is removed the steam and delicious smells from the dish fill your nose and make you want to dive right into the meal. The pita sandwich is presented in a very simple but effective way, wrapped in foil and cut in half to reveal the expertly grilled and marinated lamb and accompanying vegetables and sauce that I cannot name because I dove right in and began inhaling the sandwich. Truly delicious.
The decor feels North African without being kitschy or over the top. The stone-coloured walls have hand painted symbols, maintaining the Moroccan style, and the black ceiling recreates the night sky and is adorned with colourful lanterns in varying shades of red, yellow and green. The bar even has a variety of hookahs with the tallest being roughly four feet tall. The mood lighting adds to the cool ambiance and really sets the scene for what is a terrific spot to sit and relax after a day of sight-seeing in Hong Kong.