It’s not every day you stumble across a good Moroccan restaurant in Perth—especially not one that is BYO—which is why Mashawi Moroccan and Middle Eastern in Mount Lawley really caught my attention.
Sitting between Measure Dessert Bar and Guzman y Gomez on Beaufort Street, it’s no wonder Mashawi is packed to the brim every night of the week. The food is authentic, scrumptious and reasonably priced, and if you’re lucky enough to get a table on a Saturday night when the belly dancer is there, the atmosphere is electric.
The menu is huge and everything sounds ridiculously yummy, so you’ll want to go with a group. I made the mistake of going with only one other person and had to rush back a couple of weeks later because I couldn’t stop dreaming about their epic tagines.
But let’s start from the top shall we. Of course, you’re going to want to try the hummus. Go all out and get the Hummus Bil Lahme, topped with kofta mince and nuts. Served with mountains of bread—including the BEST Turkish bread—you’ll be wiping up every last bit of this dish. When it comes to the hot tapas, you absolutely must get the Zahara Hara—lightly fried cauliflower drizzled with tahini and pomegranate. It’s perfection on a plate and it’s not too big so you’ll have room to get the mixed hot tapas platter, which includes the falafel, kibbeh, cheese cigars and sambousek—pastry filled with scrumptious beef mince.
Now that starters are out of the way, you really need to think long and hard about mains so you can taste as much as possible. The mashawi shish are not technically mains, but they are huge and amazing. For $23 you get two skewers—choose from chicken, kofta (lamb and beef mince) or marinated scotch fillet—along with garlic dip and rice or chips.
Ordering a tagine is non-negotiable at Mashawi. The kofta tahini and potato tagine is drool-worthy and I’d happily order it every time I went, but the lamb afrah—slow cooked lamb with prunes—and the cauliflower and potato tagine also look like real winners. If you’re looking for some veg to go with your mains, order the tabouli.
If you don’t really think desserts are a big thing in Moroccan cuisine and you’re ready to skip out on them, just don’t. Not a huge fan of baklava and desserts that are heavy on the pastry, I was ready to call it a day, but my rubber arm was twisted and before I knew it, we had not one but two desserts in front of us. One pastry stuffed with ricotta, and another stuffed with custard. Neither were overly sweet, and after tasting both about four times, I couldn’t pick a winner. So we polished off both of them.
Image credit: Emma Bryant