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Venture to the heart of Africa and soak up the warmth and vibrance of Morocco at this beachfront restaurant in Manly. Out of Africa is Casablanca-born Hassan M’Souli’s homage to his homeland. With an aim to share and promote North African cuisine – which is still largely unexplored in Sydney – celebrity chef Hassan has created an African oasis saturated in culture. Artefacts and artworks cram the interior; zebra-patterned couches jostle with wooden tables. Settle on the exterior steps swathed in exotic rugs and dine by the light of colourful lamps in this fun and festive atmosphere.
Executive chef, owner and cookbook author Hassan learnt how to cook in his mother’s Moroccan kitchen as a child. His homeland’s spot on the map has bestowed it with layered influences and a range of spices from across Europe and Africa. Try Hassan’s tantalising tagines – available in vegetable, chicken, fish and meatball varieties – or the delightfully fluffy cous cous. The signature Moroccan meatball tagine of Kefta balls in a spicy tomato sauce and the Sud Afric lamb sosaties served on a bed of dried fruit-flavoured rice with sour cream and sweet madras apricot sauce come well-recommended, or check the blackboard for weekly specials. The banquet is the perfect option for groups, allowing you to sample dishes from across the menu. The well-stocked bar stacked with teapots and exotic liqueurs should incite the thirst of most; try the African punch for a mix of vodka, Bacardi, triple sec, port, red wine and fresh fruit. End with traditional Moroccan mint tea, which is poured three times from a height to infuse the ingredients and cool it down. As a 2008 Middle Eastern/North African finalist in the 2008 Restaurant and Catering NSW Metropolitan Awards for Excellence, Out of Africa also offers cookbooks and cooking classes.
Lauren Barker, September 2008Tip:
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