Friday, March 8, 2013

Marokko: Mitte ist beschissen

I know there are a few exceptions to this statement, but dinner at Kasbah last night was yet another reminder that Mitte is full of trendy looking restaurants with terrible (blah at best) food. Mitte is home to lots of expats and yuppie Germans - for the most part, educated people who are well-traveled. Why aren't these people shunning places like Hashi and Kasbah for their dumbed down flavors and demanding food that tastes like it did when they were backpacking through Asia or wherever. The Germans I met on the Camino de Santiago who were carrying crackers and other supplies purchased at home and the people (as in more than one couple) I know in Berlin who stock up at Lidl/Aldi before driving to a rented summer cottage provide the answer, but somehow I can never quite accept this. Anyway, as you can tell by now, Kasbah was no good at all. The place is nicely decorated without being over the top, most of the music they played (from classic Moroccan to French-language rap) was fitting, and the service was friendly if not five-star...but it comes down to the food and that is seriously lacking. In taste. In quantity. In (as much as I hate this word) authenticity. We shared a kefta (think meatball) tagine in spiced tomato sauce with green olives and vegetable couscous. The tagine was very mildly spiced and over-salted, the olives were of very poor quality and few in number, and the portion size (eight small meatballs in just a little bit of sauce) was really not acceptable considering the price (12.50 Euros). If it had been delicious or enough to feed an average adult, the price might have been justified, but in this case, neither was true. Any restaurant is going to have a dud, but the vegetable couscous was even worse. The menu describes the vegetables as "marinated," which they were absolutely not. This was a smallish serving of couscous with 8 or 10 pieces of cooked vegetables for 11 Euros. The sauce on the side was an insipid broth that tasted mostly of bouillon cube and the harissa was just ok (good harissa is more than spicy, it's fruity and adds real character to food). I will say that the flatbread served at Kasbah is pretty good and although I didn't sample it, they do offer Moroccan wine. Good bread and regional wine do not make up for flavorless food served in tiny portions for too much money. Kasbah Gipsstrasse 2

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