Level 1 81 Parriwi Rd
Afous means hand, with the five fingers representing the five senses of taste, touch, hear, smell and feel. In many respects the restaurant continues this theme by welcoming you with open hands and then asking patrons to extend their hands for some droplets of rose water. This personal touch sets a wonderful mood for what is to come. Owner Omar Majdi has put a lot of thought into making the whole experience of dining at Afous a memorable one - and he has succeeded. The first thing you notice is the view - amazing. Afous sits on the upper level with spectacular views on both sides of the Spit. At sunset you look out over the changing water and the troubles of the day just melt away.
Afous offers a mixture of Moroccan and Spanish dishes. We started out with a serving of North African zaater bread and a glass of merlot. We hadn't tried zaater bread before and loved it. The blend of herbs and sesame seeds was good but the killer punch was the lemon juice drizzle - such a great flavour. The serving was generous but we could have devoured more!
Entree number one was the B'stilla fingers - a house speciality. We weren't really sure what to expect here but what arrived was two rolls of almond chicken infused with rose water and cinnamon all wrapped in filo pastry and resting in a light orange saffron sauce.
The flavours were unique with both sweet and savoury somehow combining well. The pastry was crisp and not overly thick, the chicken tender and the delicately sweet sauce pulled it all together nicely.
Our next entree was the Moroccan meat balls in mild spiced tomato sauce. Whilst it doesn't initially sound particularly different the meatballs themselves were possibly the lightest we have ever had. This is certainly not a heavy entree - it's light and mild for those seeking a gentle start to their meal.
This dish surprised us a bit. The flavours went together better than expected and it was beautifully presented in a mini glistening tajine.
Whilst this was a salad and therefore cold it could almost be served warm. It was extremely refreshing and tangy all in one.
The main course of barramundi fillet was fantastic. It was described in the menu as grilled barramundi served with fennel and orange salad with honey mustard seed dressing.
The fish was perfectly cooked with a crispy skin covering tender juicy flesh.
The surprise packet was the salad. The fennel and orange was crisp and fragrant all at once and the sauce complemented it beautifully.
It was a generous serving too but once started it was impossible to stop till it was all gone!
The fish tajine was impossible to resist once spotted on the menu. Somehow you've almost got to have a tajine when eating Moroccan - or at least I do! It was described as fillet fish marinated in ras al hanout, grilled vegetables, olives and Moroccan chermoula spices. From the first lifting of the lid of the tajine the aroma was wonderful. Based on the appearance though I was a bit concerned that the fish may have been overcooked. After serving it I was pleased to discover it was in fact perfectly cooked. Again it was a huge serving but oh so nice and a side of light and fluffy cous cous topped it off so well.
Of course you cant finish a great meal without dessert. Mlady chose the Crema Catalane, a favourite of many customers at Afous, which was similar to creme brulee and topped with a crunchy burnt sugar glaze. A glazed ceramic vat arrived - it was again such a generous serving and so good. I chose the more traditional Moroccan semolina cake served warm with whipped cream. It was shaped like a friand and light and tasty. Presentation was, as always here, excellent.
The night ended with tea du Maroc, which we had never tried before. It's unique and full of flavour - green tea infused with two mints and a touch of rose water. It was served in a flamboyant showy style by a well practiced Omar adding even more spectacle to the meal.
Afous has pleasant decor, great service, atmosphere and style and wonderful food served in generous proportions. It's certainly worth trying but then once you do this you'll be back!
Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Omar Majdi and Afous.
|Omar Majdi (right)|