I'd often heard of the Breakfast Banquet at Kazbah-legend has it that for the small sum of $20 per person, you will be plied with an unbelievable amount of good food. Actually it's not legend, the menu is clear on the website but let's not mention that I never saw that. The catch is, that you need at least 8 people for this (and if someone cancels, you're stuck paying for their place). A service charge of 10% is also mandatory. We decided that Mother's Day breakfast would be the ideal day to do this. A time to indulge the mums for all of the breakfasts that they made us and to stuff ourselves silly. Since it's Mother's Day, there's a 2 hour time limit for the Breakfast Banquet.
It's 9.30am, a ludicrously early time I admit. I actually got up at 7am to get ready in an effort to look semi reasonable. Isn't it against the law to wake up before 9am on a Sunday? It's the only time they can take us and considering how busy it is when we get there we feel lucky that we got a table. A group before us has arrived late for their booking (about 40 minutes late which admittedly is really quite late) and as they've got a 1 hour limit, the waitress clucks that she doesn't feel that they'll have enough time in 20 minutes to order and eat. Phew, we're not that late. We're seated at our huge but very squishy table. One of our party is ill so we remove one chair so we have a little more room although elbows are touching at all times and eating can get awkward.
There are crayons to draw with and I know my in laws, a family of artists will go crazy over these.
The crockery is pretty - laid out as alternating blue and red sets.
We are supplied with mint water (there's no mint taste however, it's decorative) and all other drinks are charged on consumption. We listen to some of the drink specials and they sound delicious. Some settle for coffee (there is also Turkish Coffee) and some for a juice special: Pineapple, mint and lime juice.
_Pineapple, mint and lime juice $6.50
The Pineapple, mint and lime juice is lovely and full of real, fresh crushed pineapple with the pulp still there. I don't mind pulp at all, it at least assures me that a real fruit was involved in the process. The mint is very mild and the lime gives it a little tartness.
_Turkish coffee $4
The Turkish Coffee I am told is good, sweetened and thick, like it should be.
Before we know it, the first three of the courses arrives: Date & Banana Porridge. It comes unsweetened but is thick and creamy and the dates give it a little sweetness. Sprinkling it with the brown sugar provided renders it delicious.
_ Warm Rice Pudding, Saffron Poached Pear,Cinnamon & Hazelnuts_
The Warm Rice pudding with sunny moons of saffron poached pear has us at the other end of the table worried. Everyone else has had some bar four of us and it's rapidly running out. We manage to get a little of this but we found that the serving of this absolutely delicious warm rice pudding that is not too sweet, needs to be upped a little in comparison with everything else. Or perhaps everyone needs to like this less and take less :lol: No chance.
The third of our dishes is the Sweet Couscous with Nuts, Dried Fruit, Stewed Rhubarb & Cardamom Milk. However it wasn't explained to us (all of the dishes arrived at once) to add the milk and rhubarb to it so we eat it dry where it isn't particularly appetising. Had we known, I'm sure it would have been infinitely better.
Poached, Scrambled and Fried on Turkish Toast
Now they're wheeling in the big guns, the massive platters. First to emerge is the Poached, Scrambled and Fried eggs on Turkish Toast. There's enough for 1 piece of toast per person and a range of the 3 styles. I have the scrambled which is lovely and creamy but needs salt (or bacon!).
The other impressive platter to emerge is also enormous: Merguez sausages, bacon, hash browns, grilled tomato and fried halloumi. The Merguez is a bit of a disappointment, it's very dry inside and overcooked as are the Hash Browns which appear to have been cooked twice. The rest of the platter makes up for it, the bacon is crispy but not hard, the grilled tomatoes are flavoursome and juicy and the Halloumi, well I adore this squeaky salty cheese and help myself to plenty of this. Forget the never ending packet of Tim Tams, I'll have the never ending packet of Halloumi.
We also received fluffy toasted Turkish and flat bread
And Thyme mushrooms (along with same quantity of baked beans and spinach not pictured)_
_ Lamb Mince, Sucuk, Feta, Spinach, Roast Capsicum, Caramelised Onion, Roast Tomato, Eggs Breakfast Tagine
They then lay down the elaborate ceramic square coasters and they set down the two Emile Henry Tagines. The first, a Lamb Mince, Sucuk, Feta, Spinach, Roast Capsicum, Caramelised Onion, Roast Tomato, Eggs is absolute perfection, probably my favourite item this morning, the lamb mince is perfectly seasoned and great with the smokey Sucuk, eggs, tomatoes and vegetables.
_ Pumpkin, Feta,Spinach, Roast Capsicum, Caramelised Onion, Roast Tomato, Eggs Breakfast Tagine
The vegetarian Tagine with Pumpkin, Feta,Spinach, Roast Capsicum, Caramelised Onion, Roast Tomato, Eggs is delicious and the pumpkin and caramelised onion is sweet against the egg, capsicum and tomato.
We're clutching our stomachs by now and I deliver the news to everyone: there's still dessert to come. Jaws drop and we brace ourselves for the next courses, pancakes, something never to pass up. The Banana pancake arrives, as large as a plate and 1-1.5 cms thick. Splodged in the centre is a gigantic dollop of double cream, some icing sugar shaken over this and then maple syrup drizzled over the pancake and cream.
A strawberry version arrives a few minutes later with triangular strawberry halves peeking out through the top. I adore this, the thick pancake is soft and spongey and strawberries and cream is a no-brainer combination for me, especially when sweetened with maple syrup.
Chocolate and Raspberry with Butterscotch and Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream
The last dish to arrive is the Chocolate and Raspberry with Butterscotch and Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream. It's delicious, studded with chocolate and raspberries and butterscotch bits. The chocolate ice cream on top a perfect accompaniment. My husband adores this, it's his favourite item of the morning.
Of course we can't finish these pancakes, even with the strapping young men at the table. So they pack up the pancakes to give to A to take home to the ailing Figaro (they won't pack up the egg dishes for health/reheating reasons). While they're doing so, the artists at the table show off their work, a blueprint for the family village complete with long winding roads, "Elliottville"!
Kazbah on Darling
379 Darling Street, Balmain 2041 Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9555 7067
Fax: +61 (02) 9810 5355
Saturday-Sunday 9am-3pm, Tuesday-Saturday 6.30pm-10pm