Sunday, March 2, 2014

B'Stilla, South Yarra

My Valhalla Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre that went down a treat at dinner...

Course 1:
Date, orange and fennel salad with pumpkin seed granola

Course 1:
Batbout -- Turmeric and oregano flatbread with homemade chutney

Course 2:
B'stilla -- Duck & chicken pie, almond, cinnamon, saffron

Simply amazing...

Course 2:
Lamb ribs with amlou (nuts, argan oil, honey)

**Lactose free alternative

Course 2:
Housemade coleslaw

Course 3:
Seafood tagine -- spinach, mussels, fish, octopus and prawns

Course 3:
Vegetable tagine -- Figs, pumpkin seed granola, goat's milk yoghurt and sumac

Course 3:
Duck sausage

** Non-Seafood alternative

Course 3:
Spiced couscous with preserved oranges

Rosewater flan, dates, walnut nougatine

Fess Mess - Poached apricot, white chocolate, meringue

Chocolate, star anise, creme fraiche, sesame

I'm a very fortunate guy. This year, I got to celebrate my birthday on 3 separate occasions with different groups of friends. Personally, I feel so awkward when it's my birthday for some reason. But at the same time, it's such a great excuse to gather with all the good people in my life. I won't disclose my actual age, but I will say that last year was one of the most life changing years of my life. How I was when I began 2013 is completely different to who I am in 2014. Now, I'm just looking forward to what life throws at me in the year ahead... Should be a fun ride. 

On Tuesday, I had a dinner with some of my good friends from uni at B'Stilla. This was just 1 day after they were awarded the Best Restaurant (under $30) by The Age Good Food Guide... AWESOME. There's not a lot of places that I've been meaning to try (as I do prefer to eat at home) but B'Stilla has been on my list for a really, really long time. To make things easier, we opted for the 3 course dinner (with 5 - 6 dishes in total) for a price of $45 per person before ordering some desserts to share later.

Overall, the night was a huge hit from start to finish. One thought came to my mind in every dish that I ate that night: Flavour. Texture. So much of it, I love it.

The way Chef Jason Jones showcased the rich, vibrant Morrocan culture through the humble and delicate flavours in each dish was sensational. There was so much personality in every dish because of the vast ingredients he chose but it still remained very clean and refreshing. It's definitely put a whole different perspective on Morrocan food that tends to be stereotyped as being heavy, overly rich and sauce laden. 

I loved the combination of flavours in the salad that we had at the start with a nice crunch from the fennel and seeds in each bite. The crisp turmeric flatbread was so moorish and made for the perfect snack. Next, the famous B'Stilla Pie really didn't disappoint. It was so flaky with a generous and flavourful meat filling. There was a slight sweetness in the overtone, which I found to work really well. We were half full by the time we had Mains, which goes to show how generous they are with portions. The tagines were simply beautiful. I couldn't get enough of how good the Vegetable tagine tasted with the couscous, especially with the preserved fruit inside (YUM). Plus, the broth in the seafood tagine was light but full of flavour, we drank almost every drop. We thoroughly enjoyed the desserts as well, especially the chocolate one but did find the Fess Mess to be a tad underwhelming as we couldn't taste any meringue inside. But still, it was a really great meal and we were very happy with the food.

B'Stilla proves to be a great venue for your fuss free, catchup dinner with friends with spacious setting, friendly stuff and more importantly, delicious food that is value for money. Wide range of seemingly contrasting ingredients that worked really well to provide a consistently clean palate throughout. 

Plus, you get to experience Morrocan food in a whole different light. Go with the $45 (3 course set dinner with 5 dishes) and leave it to the kitchen. They cater to your needs and give you items you don't get from menu too. I had a great experience at B'Stilla and can see why the AGFG agrees... Cannot wait to come back and try the rest of the things on the menu again. 

Thanks to B'Stilla and team for hosting my birthday dinner that evening... You guys were great!

B'Stilla on Urbanspoon

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