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Restaurant Review - Kenz

Restaurant Review - Kenz

Sunday 01 November 2015

"It’s always been our dream to open a restaurant”, said Samir Hachadi of the new Kenz Moroccan Restaurant and Takeaway on the main street in Blackrock, Co. Dublin. “My wife, Sana, has cooked a lot for friends and family and they are always asking for her food.” My friend Rena and I, having just enjoyed delicious freshly cooked authentic Moroccan food, couldn’t believe our luck that we now have this little gem on our doorstep, for there aren’t that many Moroccan restaurants in Ireland, never mind in South County Dublin. I love the way Moroccan cuisine involves the use of fruits, both fresh and dried, with meat, as well as olives and nuts, adding that natural sweet sour element to their dishes.
Its bright saffron coloured exterior shines out like a welcoming beacon, while inside, which seats around twenty, they have created a contemporary Moroccan feel, with amazing colourful stained glass style light fittings reflecting patterns and shadows on the ceiling, not to mention their vibrant tableware.
Starters (€6.50/€7.50) included couscous salad with peppers
and mushrooms, served with Feta cheese and yoghurt sauce, as well as Kebda, lamb’s liver in tomato sauce with olives and preserved lemon. We shared a platter (€11.95), which gave us a good overview of the starters, including butternut squash salad, which was a sweet puree, mixed with ginger and cinnamon while, at the other end of the rectangular plate was Zaalook, an aubergine pate with tomato and Moroccan vinegar. We mopped these up with gusto on the divine bread which accompanied the dish,
as we also crunched through a selection of filo pastry ‘cigars’ filled alternatively with chicken, mincemeat and prawns with vermicelli, dipping them into tomato and yoghurt sauces.
Mains (€13.95/€16.95) included a wide range of tagines (Moroccan stews), couscous dishes and kebabs. Frankly, it was hard to choose from the tagines, and I can see myself working my way through the menu over time. Lamb could be had with saffron, baby potatoes, preserved lemon and olives, or in a ‘sumptuous’ onion sauce with green beans and tomato, or with artichoke hearts or with grilled onions. Kofta tagine had the juicy meatballs cooked with a baked egg in a spiced tomato sauce, while marinated hake fillet was there too with carrots, potatoes, peppers and olives in a tomato and lemon sauce. Couscous dishes gave you a ‘choice of stew’ with a full serving of the steamed semolina grain, while kebabs came with a salad and chips or bread. We ordered M’Rouziapeartagine(€15.95) and T’Fayacouscous(€15.95) and we shared both dishes, which were absolutely ace.
The pear tagine had a saffron flavoured chicken breast, cooked to melting deliciousness, in a savoury sweet sauce, with a lavish amount of caramelised sweet pears, nuts and sesame seeds. The lamb couscous was also fab with sizeable chunks of lamb, butternut squash, carrots, turnip and chickpeas, resting on the couscous base and served with caramelised sweet onions and raisins.
Moroccan and Middle Eastern desserts in general are delicious and at Kenz they were all homemade (€4.50/€5.50). We shared a selection of Moroccan pastries (€4.50), which were pretty as a picture with baklava, chebbakia and almond briwat. Alcohol is not served at Kenz. They do have a non-alcoholic beer as well as traditional Moroccan fresh mint tea, spiced coffee, smoothies and soft drinks. With a non-al beer (€4.95) for Rena, and water (€2.50) for me, our bill with optional service came to €60.80.


23 Main Street,

Tel: (01) 215-9970