Kaza Maza MontrealPosted By Jennifer Ho Dec 22 2011 · 0 comments · Dining Out
It’s crazy how there are so many great restaurants in Montreal, whether on the main, in the centre-ville or tucked away in the plateau somewhere. Just when you think you’ve exhausted the list, dozens more pop up out of nowhere, each one as tantalizing and unique as the next. That’s what I love about this city. The restaurant scene is constantly evolving and branching out, adding and adjusting, diversifying in both cuisine and location so that there’s a bit of everything everywhere. I first heard about the Syrian Kaza Maza through a friend who went, loved it and had leftovers because they ordered so much. I tried them and was struck by how delicious they were even after sitting in a box for a few hours and losing their initial heat. I had a chance to go last week and again a few days later, so this is an amalgamation of the two meals.
The first time around, we asked our server for his top picks – we were somewhat unfamiliar with their dishes and specialties so we asked him to give us what they made best. He suggested the beet mutabbal which they are famous for. Just look at those colors! So vibrant and beautiful. A puree of roasted beets topped with olive oil, tahini and yogurt, the dip was mostly smooth with a few chunks of beets along the way. This was one of the real stars of the meal – we could have ordered another. Excellent stuff. We had the baba ganouj sprinkled with pomegranate seeds to accompany the mutabbal and the fresh, soft pita. Needless to say, we finished everything off in no time.
For the hot plates, we had the lamb friki – a deliciously tender, well marinated piece of meat placed on a bed of friki (a kind of rice-like grain). We topped it off with some fresh yogurt and voila! Good to go. We also had the sweet and sour cherry kefta – exquisitely spiced minced meat soaked in cherries and their juices generously topped with pine seeds. Too good for words. You going to have to get this one!
Along with our meal, we had some traditional mint tea that was prepared carefully being poured and re-poured into a separate glass in order to enhance and maximize the mint flavor of the tea. Service was great, timely and the prices were more than reasonable. Check it out for some impressive and authentic Syrian fare!
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