Mesopotamia Restaurant, Cape Town, 04.07.11.

At long last I’ve managed to visit Mesopotamia, Cape Town’s first Kurdish restaurant which also happens to be Halaal. Upon receiving this information I realised that I could not recommend a single restaurant in the City Bowl that is strictly Halaal…so I was really looking forward to the meal.

The restaurant feels like Aladdin’s Cave as the whole restaurant is not visible upon entering. Up the stair well, a u-turn which leads you to the bar and a small section, another u-turn leads you to the main room. The tone is set with the main room’s dark orange walls, candle-lit golden table-trays and eastern music. The table seating is comprised of firm pillows on the floor, circling the golden tables. This was fun initially but eating cross legged, or sidewards, on the floor eventually results in indigestion – until I stood up to leave!

The starters are tasty, a scoop of mixed ‘mezes’ (pates) with warmed naan bread (wraps). Tatziki, hummus, spicy tomato relish, pumpkin mash, chopped olives, dolmades, green and red pepper tzatziki, etc. The mains was based on lamb. Lamb stew, lamb chops, vegetarian stew, all served with rice. The lamb was tender but unfortunately dry. It seemingly had been slow cooked but then reheated, or over cooked, to make it soft but also resulted in it being dried out quite a lot. The vegetable stew was more satisfying.

The experience over all was good but the meal was slightly over priced considering the lamb wasn’t perfect. Our waitress was attentive but the star of the evening was the belly dancer. Stomping and swaying her way through the room, she added a world of fun whilst encouraging girls to stand up and give their “booties” a shake, if they’re comfortable in doing so.

Altogether a fun night out but I don’t think I’ll be rushing back to visit the restaurant again any time soon.


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