Saturday, January 4, 2014

Casablanca, Orewa

I try not to make a habit of blogging about restaurants I visit for a special occasions because.. well.. you know, it kinda detracts from the reason we're there. I usually end up taking sneaky photos on my phone when I think nobody is looking so some of the photos I get are sometimes after someone's taken a good chunk of their food. This was the case when I came to Casablanca with Jason's family but, since it was my birthday, they took exception =)

Casablanca opened up late last year and is situated right on the main strip near Orewa Beach. Although it's only been opened for a few months, it's already a big hit with the locals. Taking its influences from North Africa and Eastern Mediterranean countries, it's a little different from the restaurants I usually frequent and my trips here have allowed me to experience many new flavours. All the dishes are very genorously portioned and the wait staff are very attentive.

Meze Platter - $24.50
We were pretty hungry by the time we arrived so I forgot to take a photo until we dug in. The meze platter consisted of mixed olives, almonds, hummus, tabouli, warm pide bread and a mix of dips which were very delicious.

Lahmajun - $19.50
Jason's father ordered the Lahmajun which, we are told, is traditional street food in Istanbul. The thin base was fantastically crunchy underneath the smothering of minced beef and onions. The topping of fresh salad was a great accompaniment. Cheese can also be added at an extra cost. As it as so conveniently sliced, we all ended up having a slice and thought that it would serve as a good entree. 

Citron Chicken Tagine - $28.50
The chicken in the Tagine was very tender when it arrived and fell apart only using my fork. It was well spiced and went great with the honey and orange carrots and preserved lemons. I didn't eat much of my cous cous as I felt it was a little dry but the portions size was so big anyway that I was full after just eating the chicken!

Beduoin Upsidedown Bulghur Pilaf - $26.50
While the lamb was very tender, we found that the Beduoin Upsidedown Bulghur Pilaf was quite bland even with the accompaniment of apricot chutney. 

Turkish Split Aubergine - $27.50
I enjoyed the eggplant dish but, as above, it was slightly bland and the tomatoes seemed a bit watery. The pilaf was well seasoned though, and the eggplant had been cooked so that it was practically melt in the mouth.

Skewered Scotch Fillet - $29.50
My favourite of the night was the Skewered Scotch Fillet. I loved the kick that the Harissa brought and how the eggplant and potato mash worked to calm down the spice.

Casablanca is the new "special occasions" venue for Jason's family as it's so close and handy. It is always full when we visit and perfectly situated for a nice walk along the beach after your massive meal.

Casablanca can be found at 336 Hibiscus Coast Highway, Orewa

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  1. hehe I can't help but whip out the phone. Even if I don't intend to blog I end up doing it anyway! Looks like a lovely place for a meal :)

  2. I don't like to blog special occasions either, but I have also been guilty of using an iPhone to take discreet photos ;)
    The Lahmajun looks delicious! It is exactly what I feel like eating now!

  3. LOL, how can you resist not taking photos, even if not for the purpose of blogging? Just for memories keepsake, although we all know we will end up posting it someday, somehow...sometime later...hehe!:-D But ya, the dangers of social media creeps up and if we are not careful, we may end up being the social maniac on our phone rather than spending that real quality time with the family!
    I like the name of the restaurant, and of course all the food...but the name is just so..."Casablanca" (reminds me of the movie and the song), oh, what a classic~
    Happy New Year to you!~
    Finally found a NZ blogger, nice to meet you :-)


  4. Dear Lucy,

    Happy belated birthday. I love restaurants where we can go for a walk along the beach afterwards to work off the calories and there are lots of these here in Sydney :)

  5. I can never resist a good tagine. Those Moroccan spices all cooked together slowly for hours just brings out the best flavors.