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Thursday, September 29, 2011

An Invitation to Experience “Chillax-ation”

Pasha Restaurant, Bar and Bistro

Address:Pasha Rating Meter
64 Aliwal Street
Singapore
199940
Tel: +6723-7117
I was recently invited to a private food tasting with the entire family to Pasha.  Pasha is a new concept hotel cum bar / restaurant in the trendy Arab corner of Singapore.  Happily nestled between Textile Centre and the Malay Heritage Centre it’s an ideal Oasis for the weary explorer looking to chillax!

Pasha: Look for the white building

Aside from we human visitors a special invitation was issued to a VID (Very Important Dog): Sarah, for the most part of the evening she was happily seated in her port-a-house, but she did take a stroll around the premises and gave her paw of approval!
Pasha is lavishly decked out in Moroccan furniture, decorations and flatware imported from Morocco, that coupled with the Moorish interior and Arabian concept exterior one feels transported to Northern Africa (and that’s even before the finger food arrives!)  It’s a sensory holiday without having to leave on a jet plane.  My recommendation is head there around dusk when you can see the landscape transform from that of an urban reclose to feeling like you’re out chilling with some Bedouin’s on the plain.  One minor thing that I did notice was the lack of adequate lighting under the marquees; it became a little difficult to appreciate all the food that was on offer.
Alfresco rooftop drinks and mezze
At the time of visitation the restaurant hadn’t yet been opened; none the less the chef whipped up an array of dishes that are part of their mezze (selection of small dishes) offering; the equivalent to Spanish tapas.
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Kebab Brochettes (Grilled Prawn) – tasty morsels of lightly marinated prawns grilled to perfection, at last count I ate 5
Halloumi Kousa Mahshi (Stuffed zucchini with flavored minced beef and halloumi cheese) – this dish everyone was commenting on and fighting for more.  Moreish (pardon the pun) until the last bite, the texture of the not so creamy halloumi mixed with the seasoned mince beef and the crunchiness of the zucchini was too good to resist.
Merguez (Grilled homemade lamb sausage served with onion jam and harissa chili dip) – for those of you who fear the smell of lamb, don’t these sausages will make you a lamb lover, deliciously tender, they need to be eaten with the chili dip to help eventuate the taste.
Harissa Chicken Wings – Tunisa’s answer to the chili chicken wing?  These went down like a dream, coupled with an ice cold beer (or in my case a glass of white wine): the hot smokiness and from the Harissa sauce was simply heaven!

Sardine Mariées (Grilled marinated fresh sardine) – I’m a lover of all things fish and these grilled sardines were no exception; an acquired taste for some I suppose but I loved ‘em.
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Marinated Olives – I was unable (as full as I was) to stop picking at these, they were so tasty, marinated in olive oil and other herbs they just reinforce that at times the simple things in life are often the best.  It’s a must have to your table when you’re chatting with your friends.  That and nice glass of wine!
Unfortunately I didn’t manage to capture any pictures of the Lahm Kefta Tajine (Slow cooked beef meat balls in tomato base sauce with egg, herbs and spices).  This was the most prized dish of the chili padi and myself! The beef balls were tender, juicy and bursting with flavor, the accompanying tomato sauce was simply awesome, the only thing missing from the mezze menu was the inclusion of khobz: to mop up all the delicious sauces/gravy of the dishes.

Personally I want extend my thanks and gratitude to the owners, chef and staff at Pasha for the invitation to the food tasting, it was really an enjoyable trip to North Africa both digestively and sensory!  I’m sure on your official opening, this place will be the new ‘go to’ place for all!

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