Bazaar’s drinks menu is as tempting as its dishes, and plenty of the drinks feature fresh herbs.
Photo: Jan Hanrion
On its menu, Bazaar explains its concept in a nutshell: “a place of meetings, exchanges and discovery”. So does it live up to its promise?
Bazaar’s open interior, with its art nouveau flair, is indeed bustling, if not a bit noisy. Despite the lunch rush, we were greeted swiftly. By the end of our lunch, every table had been seated.
Skipping entrées, we went straight for the daily-menu mains, one of us opting for an open-faced pita with roasted aubergine, falafel and pickled red cabbage, the other for a veal tagine with pumpkin and apricots. The vegetarian dish impressed with its play of texture--the tart cabbage, perfectly crisp falafels, pomegranate seeds bursting with each bite--although the minimal tahini left the dish a tad on the dry side. The tagine was cooked to perfection: the veal and pumpkin were tender, all in a sauce that was warmly spiced--real comfort on that wet, windy autumn day.
Both dishes were served with za’atar-topped hummus, and the portions of rice included fried grains, adding nice texture. The extra pita was ideal for the tagine although superfluous for the vegetarian dish. Despite generous portions, prices are fair. The service was outstanding.
The generous portions are often accompanied with flatbread and hummus. Photo: Jan Hanrion/Maison Moderne
For dessert, we tried the “lemonista d’amour”, a bright, tangy celebration of citrus: lemon cream with a grapefruit meringue, balanced out with a short crust biscuit. The “shir berenj”, or rice pudding, included a pistachio crumble that popped with colour, and the use of edible flower petals was a nice touch. At first taste, it seemed it could have been one notch sweeter, but gradually the orange infusion and candied pistachios crept to the surface, making this a truly memorable dessert. It was served in a dainty lidded ceramic pot, and so it felt like being privy to some well-kept secret.
As we were enjoying a cup of coffee and fresh mint infusion, we noticed an elderly man seated alone in the corner, book in hand, laughing himself almost to tears at whatever he was reading. Indeed, it wasn’t just groups surrounding us that seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves: solo diners will feel at home here as well. And if this is what the owners were going for, then they’ve succeeded.