Out of Africa

Posted by in Food & Dining

Most recently, The Boyfriend and I visited Out of Africa, an eclectic Morrocan affair with thoroughly modern sensibilities. The menu is a vibrant mix of contemporary and traditional dishes and the interior somewhat haphazardly put together in a similar clash of old and new (zebra-print alongside beaded embroidery), but it all works so very well. Located in a rather quiet part of Manly esplanade, this place feels warm, cheery and yet oh-so-chic.

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Herb bread ($4.50)

To start off with, the we ordered some herb bread, which turned out to be warmly toasted, crisp and super cheesy – just how we like it! And since we’re both off alcohol at the moment (for sport and health reasons, respectively), we opted for these colourful fruity drinks. But Out of Africa has a great range of cocktails as well that are worth checking out,with names such as Cairo Kiss and Sweet Tunis Tang.

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Fruit frappé ($6.50) and Tropical Sunset ($7.00)

I was really curious about their briouats after the wonderful meat cigars we had at Moroccan Feast, but the ones at Out of Africa were a disappointment. I disliked them for two reasons: (1) they not only looked like regular Chinese takeout spring rolls, but kind of tasted like them too – especially with the sweet sauce (2) despite the ‘spiced marinaded chicken’ in the description, these weren’t spicy at all. They were still nice, but when I compared them to the rich, meaty briouats I’d had at Moroccan Feast, they were just so-so. Also, is it just me, or is $8.00 a little steep for a single briouat?

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Breathless Briouats ($16) – filo pastry cigars filed with spiced marinaded chicken and almonds and served with sweet saffron sauce

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Afro BBQ Chicken ($28.50) – tender chicken breast fillet marinated in vinegar, cumin, parsley, chilli and garlic, served with crushed avocado, spiced Pontiac wedges and a spicy tomato, coconut sauce

Our choice of meats for the mains will have been rather predictable if you’ve read my blog before – The Boyfriend went for the lamb cous cous, I chose the Afro BBQ chicken, simply because the name was so funky.

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Couscous Lamb Bidaoui ($28.90) – tender marinated lamb served on fluffy couscous with a combination of sweet chickpeas and a vegetable broth

I really did like Out of Africa – the portions were generous (alarmingly so; I was full before I was even halfway through my main), the presentation and decor/ambience so exotic, and yet I felt all the way through that there was something missing. I think in terms of flavour, I really appreciated the heavy, spicy, decadent flavours at Moroccan Feast, and I can’t help but think that Out of Africa might cater more to the Australian palate than being true to Moroccan cuisine. But really, how can I be sure, having never been to Morocco myself?

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Out of Africa is located at 43-45 East Esplanade Manly NSW 2095

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