Recently, Angie and I had the wonderful opportunity to celebrate three years of being together. Having our anniversary on the very first day of January is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it is almost impossible to forget. On the other, because of all the New Year festivities going on, it is almost impossible to find a good place that is not completely booked out to have a special dinner. This year, we decided to head to Broadbeach to try something new. This proved rather difficult as nearly every restaurant we came across (including the amazing Spanish restaurant we planned on visiting) was full! We eventually chanced upon Mecca Bah, known for serving up “delicious flavours of Morocco, Turkey and the Middle East”. Happy to dabble in a different cuisine, we decided to wait for a table.
Since we originally planned on getting tapas, we decided to get a number of little dishes from their mezze menu – totally great for sharing or if you just can’t decide what to get!
Hummus Topped with Spiced Lamb, Pinenuts & Herbs + Lebanese Za’atar Bread ($14.00)
The first dish to arrive was our Hummus Topped with Spiced Lamb, Pinenuts and Herbs + Lebanese Za’atar Bread ($14.00). Out of all the dishes, this was probably our favourite. The hummus had a perfect ever-so-slightly grainy texture, complemented well by the smoothness of the olive oil and the grittiness of the ground lamb. The serving of freshly chopped tomato and onion on top offered a refreshing balance to the heaviness of the hummus and lamb. However, the winning component of the dish (at least for us) was the soft, floury, slightly-chewy-slightly-sweet Lebanese za’atar bread. I’d be happy with just a plate of the bread all on its own!
Seafood Tagine ($26.00)
Next in line, we had the Seafood Tagine ($26.00), served with cous cous. Surprisingly delicate barramundi, sweet mussels, and meaty local prawns with harissa, all cooked in a sweet and slightly tangy tomato and onion broth. What really stood out for me were the tart pieces of preserved lemon, which accompanied the seafood very well. However, the portion of cous cous that came with the tagine was fairly scant!
Spicy Lamb and Pinenut Boureks ($12.00)
Soon after, we had the Spicy Lamb and Pinenut Boureks ($12.00) and the Kataifi Pastry Filled with Middle Eastern Cheeses ($13.00). Out of the two, I much preferred the boureks. The strong, spiced lamb paired very well with the tangy yoghurt, and the crunchy, fried phyllo coating was sinfully delicious. My only criticism? The pinenuts weren’t overly noticeable due to the strong taste and texture of the lamb. The dish would probably be just as good without them.
Kataifi Pastry Filled with Middle Eastern Cheeses ($13.00)
The kataifi pastries were texturally wonderful, with strands of crisp, fried pastry encasing a melted centre of sharp cheese and herbs. Despite being rather difficult (read: messy) to eat, the two textures made for an extremely interesting dish. Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of the peas added to the cheesy centre, but Angie seemed to really enjoy the added flavour. I do highly recommend ordering this dish as an appetiser just to add a unique textural flair to your meal!
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed the dinner and would happily return to try more of the mezze menu. Despite being incredibly busy, the service was decent and our food arrived hot and fresh reasonably quickly. I’d definitely recommend visiting Mecca Bah with a group of friends to get a good taste of all the different mezze offerings (having just two at the table really limits what you can order). However, we are also very excited to try more of the tagines, and definitely more of that za’atar bread!
3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
Gold Coast, QLD 4218
Opening Hours: 11AM – late (daily)
Official Website: http://meccabah.net