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Scenario: It’s yet another freezing cold night and you have dinner planned with a vegetarian friend. A salad (brrrrr, that’s my cue to shiver) is definitely out of the question. What do you do?
Fortunately, Moroccan Soup Bar offers the perfect solution with a 100% vegetarian menu AND soup! Susper and I arrived at 6.30pm, stepped foot into the restaurant and welcomed the soothing warmth and sensational aromas of Moroccan cuisine. What we were also greeted with was the sight of a full restaurant. Not a single table free and no signs of anyone leaving soon. Luckily we didn’t have to walk away empty stomach and were able to leave our names for a table an hour later. We spent our hour at a pub down the street.
When we returned an hour later, all the tables remained filled (with us as the occupants of one of the tables, yay!)
The colours reminded me of natural elements: the sand, the sunset… I’ve never been to Morocco before but I can see some resemblance in the color scheme to the images I dug up on Google. The pictures that had views of the desert anyway.
Complimentary mint tea.
It was an acquired taste that neither Susie nor myself managed to… acquire during our meal. I expected tea with a subtle hint of mint but instead was blown away by how extremely minty and sweet it turned out to be. For lack of a better description, it was like drinking liquified chewing gum that left a lingering sensation akin to traces of toothpaste that remain after brushing your teeth.
Tomato-based soup with veggies and legumes.
$8 here will get you far and full. We decided to order two soups and a main dish between the two of us without realising how substantial the soups actually were. Very hearty and filling. Of the two soups we had ordered, this was my favourite. More so than the gumbo that I had tried at Gumbo Kitchen, the tomato-based soup at Moroccan Soup Bar was more similar to minestrone soup. It was more tomato-y and not as cluttered with ingredients, although the portion of veggies and legumes present remained generous. The tomato soup was also the spicier option out of the two soups available and the spice left a lingering trail of warmth all the way through to the abdomen region. Definitely the perfect soup to help chase away the cold.
Spinach and lentils soup.
Despite the other soup option being tomato-based, the spinach and lentils soup came across as much more sour, with a hint of tomato detectable. The little amounts of parsley used went a long way, its herby aroma constantly picked up by my palate. The inclusion of lentils meant that this option was the more filling option out of the two. We had to pace ourselves carefully with the spinach and lentils soup to ensure we had enough room to fit in the other foods.
Mixed rice - saffron rice with four dishes (starting from the front and working our way around anti-clockwise): potato, lentils, cauliflower and alpha beans.
Potato: Susper quite liked this option but I didn’t find myself in the same boat. The potato was very soft and its texture was quite different to normal potatoes. The taste was slightly sour and tofu came to mind. Again it came back to the texture, which further added to my thoughts of tofu.
Lentils: The lentils was very similar to the soup but less sour. Without the distraction of the sourness, the taste of lentils lingered for much longer afterwards.
Cauliflower: My favourite out of the three. Its taste reminded my of a curry but not as overpowering (and therefore not as sickening). The cooking process had rendered the cauliflower unrecognisable by both texture and taste. For the longest time we had tried to pinpoint what was the main ingredient and only realised it was cauliflower when we remembered what the waitress had said. There were peanuts scattered throughout, which provided a crunch, minus the peanut taste. A win for me given my dislike of most nuts.
Alpha beans: The alpha beans were cooked with what I presumed to be a tomato-based sauce. It wasn’t too sour and the flavours were light and well-herbed.
Most of the dishes, aside from the potato, suited perfectly with the saffron rice.
With a name like Moroccan Soup Bar and the weather being super duper freezing cold, I had practically made a beeline for the soup. The main dish was just a little something extra on the side but ended up wowing my taste buds, perhaps even a little more so than the soup. Although, the tomato soup was fantastic… Let’s just say the soup AND the main dish were both equally tasty. Moroccan Soup Bar offers a $20 or $25 per head banquet option and after the tasty tease we had experienced, it’s definitely on our to eat list.
Moroccan Soup Bar
183 St Georges Rd,
Fitzroy North, Victoria, 3068.
(03) 9482 4240