Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Moroccan Soup Bar - Turning Hipster Part 1

I finally got around to spending a lazy day in Brunswick traversing Sydney Road and the general area and it helped that I found someone else to join me in my journey. He had also had never frequented this area of greater Melbourne so it was indeed a time to explore. It certainly made the day more amusing if not interesting to have a companion that was keen to eat, drink and wander about with reckless abandon. Our legs were put to the test when the sun set as it is a thirty minute walk from Sydney Road to St Georges Road in Fitzroy North, which is where the Moroccan Soup Bar is located and where we decided to have a "cheap and cheerful" dinner after indulging a bit at lunch.

We turned up and this place and it was heaving human bodies. We were told to come back at 7:30 PM and that a table should be ready so we retreated to the Deco Bar, which is only a few metres away, and strangely devoid of customers, to top up our blood alcohol levels before returning at 7:30 PM on the dot. We were given the best seat in the house by far, which is strangely near the entrance to the toilet. This is one of the few tables that is away from the main thoroughfare of the restaurant which is always occupied by staff or patrons coming and going.

There is no menu at this place. You have two options which are communicated by word of mouth from the server. A "banquet" for $20 and a "banquet with dips" for $25. Having stockpiled cash as everything in Brunswick seemed to only accept cash, we were happy to splash out the extra five dollars and go for gold. About two minutes later a range of dips and bread came out. There was no explanation as to what anything was, but I was able to deduce a cous cous dip which was quite nice and some seriously good bread that I used to pick up one of the dry pieces of falafel.

Being so hungry, it didn't take long to eat everything included for the dip first course. I thought it was pretty cool that just the right amount of bread was provided to clean up everything served.  Only a few minutes later, the mains were delivered. Strangely I was expecting some soups (hence the name of the place, thus my expectation if not confusion) but along with rice and beans, some curry variants were presented. The highlight of a bland lot was the vegetable stew. The dips had a bit of spice, but these mains did not however we found them quite filling and ended up leaving some behind. Other patrons who were obviously regulars had plastic takeaway containers with them (there is an IGA not far away in case you want to buy some) and were filling them up before leaving. Although there were some desserts left to come, we could not eat any more and simply just paid the bill with a gold note (another cash only venue) and retreated to the pub.

For $25 you will receive a fair amount of food that should satisfy most people that do not have high expectations. The restaurant is the closest to a machine that I have witnessed and can quickly turn over tables with their no-nonsense approach to customer service. This is probably why we were not offered anything to drink as they didn't want us to stay in our seat for an extended amount of time, let alone take the time to use the bathroom. My experience would have been highlighted if beer was available, but I suppose there is a time and a place for everything.

Moroccan Soup Bar, Fitzroy North
Moroccan Soup Bar
183 St Georges Rd., Fitzroy North, VIC 3068
(03) 9482 4240
My Rating: 12.50/20
Service: 2.5/5
Ambiance: 3/5
Quality: 3/5
Value For Money: 4/5
Comment: Cash Only, only open in the evenings Tuesday - Sunday

Twitter: @epicurean3006
e-mail: epicureanofsouthbank (at) gmail (dot) com

When I made this post originally, 90% of the reviewers on Urbanspoon like the Moroccan Soup Bar.

Moroccan Soup Bar on Urbanspoon

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