Category Archives: Middle Eastern/African

Pastilla

R and I came across this Moroccan restaurant not far from our place last year. I have been reluctant to try it cos’ another restaurant (-that-shall-not-be-named) which promised to serve “authentic Moroccan cuisine” left me sorely disappointed previously when their chicken tajine tasted more like chicken with diluted mee rebus gravy. After that, I resigned myself to the fact that I would probably not be able to relive the taste I so loved in Morocco. But I am so so so glad we decided to take the plunge and try Pastilla! Their chef is from Chafchaouen and the taste is very close to what I remember.

We ordered 2 tajines to share (between $16-20 each). Each tajine comes with saffron rice or bread. The breads were fluffy with a crispy crust; we liked the bread so much, we ordered an extra basket (and this does not happen often for us)!

Chicken tajine with seasonal vegetables, olives and preserved lemons

20140315-132239.jpg 20140315-132317.jpg The chicken was very tender and fell off the bones. The sauce had lotsa flavours coming together – essence of chicken, sweetness from the carrots and other vegetables, aroma of the truckload of spices. I am not sure what else went into the dish (I am sure olives and preserved lemons featured somewhere); it was a deeply flavourful dish.

The main difference from what we had in Morocco was the vegetables; but I can see why the dish cannot be exactly replicated. The Moroccan version is served with tons of whole olives and huge slices of preserved lemons. I suppose the chef had to make do with what is available (and cheaper) in Singapore and hence, the substitute of potatoes, carrots and onions. I still liked the tajine very much; but it would be good if the vegetables could be in smaller chunks.

Chafchaouen Tajine – beef meatballs in light tomato based sauce topped with eggs

20140315-133059.jpg The meatballs were quite gamey so not really for non-meat-lovers. The tomato sauce was also very flavourful with spices and an excellent dip for the bread. R wiped up every last drop of the sauce with his bread. The egg atop was fully cooked and added another dimension to the dish.

Overall, a lovely experience and I would highly recommend Pastilla for a true taste of Morocco. I can’t wait to return to try their other dishes especially the couscous tajine!

20140315-133211.jpg 334 Changi Road
Open 5-1030pm (1130pm on Sat/Sun)
http://www.pastillacafe.com

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