Mexigo? We did – and didn’t really find anything to say about it. It was fairly cheap; the food was OK, but in a market swamped with low-cost simple food it seemed rather redundant – and the throwaway attempts to spice the place up with the odd Mexican hat evoked, above all, pathos.

Anyways, Mexigo has departed and the Kasbah Cafe Bazaar has replaced it – and first impressions are very good. The sweet smell of shisha greets us as we walkt through the front door; comfortable sofas at the front of the house and more ordered tables further back.

Some of the fittings seem to have come from Mexigo, but the tables and chairs are apparently from Morocco – and if you like it you can buy it. There’s a ring of authenticity about the place – we were reminded a little of Kimos.

If you like you can smoke an electronic shisha for £15.95 – an experience certainly to be tried at least once – or simply enjoy some Moroccan mint tea. You may as well, because there’s no booze available, even as BYO.

If you have a pang of hunger you might like to browse the tapas menu that features the likes of raw beetroot and carrots – or breakfast or afternoon tea depending on the time of day.

There are the usual stand-bys too: hummus, falafel, tahini, olives, cous-cous, tagine – but there are more exotic dishes too such as the Pastilla de Mekness (£8.95 – right/below), and intriguing blend of shredded, spiced chicken with almonds in a filo parcel, topped with icing sugar.

Moroccan food is full of flavour – and this mixing of sweet and savoury par for the course in cuisine studded with sweet fruit and nuts. The pastilla is intriguing and a fresh salad of tomatoes, onions and cucumber much required. It might have benefited from a sour dip or dressing to cut through the sweetness, though.

A Moroccan Cous-Cous salad main course (£5.95) with halloumi, chickpeas, lemon and mint is just right – how dull cous-cous can be when underseasoned – but a shared side of falafel (£2.95) is a bit hit and miss; they’ve clearly been pre-cooked and reheated and some of the small falafel are rock hard.

Green mint tea and baklava beckoned, but so did the rock’n’roll panto so we’ll save them for another day. So too the Moroccan pancakes, the Kasbah take on a club sandwich and the tagines which look absolutely mouth-watering.

As a first look we liked the look of Kasbah Cafe Bazaar: the menu is wide-ranging enough to offer surprises to even the most seasoned of eaters; there’s a pleasant relaxed vibe to the place; veggies and the short-of-cash are well catered-for and it’s simply nice to see a place succeed where people have obviously put their heart and soul into the place.

Kasbah Cafe Bazaar
Bold Street

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