I timed my drive to Top Ryde that morning, it literally took me 7.5 minutes, and that includes driving through a speed camera so it's not like I was driving like a hoon. The traffic gods were smilling down on me and my Yaris as we Tokyo drifted it into a perfect parking spot in the relatively new Top Ryde Shopping Center. The traffic gods knew - there was food to be had, and there was an unimaginable amount of it. It was a breezy Sunday morning and thanks to all the co-ordination efforts by my friend the Boss Lady, we got together a group of 6 fabulously fierce and hungry females (the FFHF for short).
Roll Call (yes, my nickname is indeed 'Token Asian')
Now I have herd nothing but great things about Kazbah's breakfast degustation banquet - for $25 a head, you get stuffed silly with their Middle Eastern breakfast dishes - which is exactly what happened this day. There was some confusion when we booked - at the time the website stated the minimum persons for the banquet was 6, but when we called and booked for 7 they informed us that the minimum has changed to 8 people. We argued that the info on the website was different so they accommodated us. On the day, our 7th friend could not make it and they informed us that they would be charging us for a 7th person since it we didn't inform them of the cancellation - so guys, be wary of this when booking large groups. Pick committed eaters! Okay, so now lets begin. There is eating to be had!!
Our jaws drop when they place the first 3 dishes onto the table. I don't think any of us were prepared for the portions. Three bowls, probably of an 8inch diameter of breakfast sweets to start us of. The first photo (above left) is the Banana porridge with a date compote . Beautifully presented condiments to add to these dishes also arrive - small glasses of warm and cold milk, blueberry compote and some brown sugar. Colourful tableware also fills our table, everything tying into the Middle Eastern theme.
Sweet couscous, mix nuts, dried fruits, stewed rhubarb
That is my perfectly portioned plate. We go around the table and most seem to favour the warm pudding. I really enjoyed the sweet couscous - especially after the Bride 2 Be showed us how it was properly served in her Armenian family. Blueberry compote goes into the big bowl of couscous and so does the the warm milk. Its like we started off eating dry boring cereal and someone came along and added milk and fruit, well that is pretty much what happened - but it really lifted the sweet couscous.
The drinks counter and our very fancy and pretty water jug
Soon after the first round was cleared - a huge plate of turkish toast and flatbreat is placed in front of us. A tagine soon arrives, and then a second tagine. And again, they were not small tagines too! The first serve was the vegetarian option, but we all seemed to flock to the carnivore version - especially with Sooty and Habibi nursing hangovers from a hens night. The crunchy Turkish toast soaked in olive oil served as the base - and we piled up the tangine goodness onto our respective plates.
Roast Pumpkin, Spinach, Roast Capsicum & Tomato, Caramelised Onion, Feta and Eggs
Lamb Mince, Sucuk (spicy turkish sausage), Spinach, Roast Capsicum and Tomato, Caramelised Onion, Feta and Eggs
A quick survey around the table, and judging by the empty tangine - we all prefered the lamb variety. Not that we did'nt like the veretarian one of course - but the lamb had us going back for seconds, and even third spoonfulls - which was indeed a rookie error as we were not even close to the finish line.
"What did we get ourselves into? I'm just about done after this coffee" Boss Lady turns to me with a worried face. I turn to Wiki Mel next to me and actually utter the words "I think im getting full" She hugs me and tells me everything will be okay.. And not soon after - the meat and eggs platter manifest before our eyes. Our hungry eyes. Us, full? nah! That is all forgotten - us girls are friends for a reason, you'd think we were at a Tribiani family dinner or something. As Joey from the TV show 'Friends' says - "Because I'm a Tribbiani - and this is what we do! I mean we may not be great thinkers or world leaders, we don't read a lot or run very fast, but dammit! We can eat!"
Free Range Eggs - Scrambled, Poached and Fried - all on more Turkish bread
The "meat tray" of Sausages, Bacon, Roasted Tomatoes, Haloumi and Potato Hash.
Wilted Spinach and Grilled Mushrooms, we also had a small bowl of baked beans too.
It was all a big blur, and the serving could have fed 10 people - We carb loaded on more turkish toast and attacked that meat platter. The sausages were spicy, the rashers of bacon were huge but our favourites were the potato hashes and the haloumi. We would have sacrificed our egg platter for more!
Now to distract you with a somewhat calm outside world after all that food. We are not done yet.
Two new challengers appear, and thankfully this was our last fight / dish. Deliciously sweet after all those meat - behold the two GINORMOUS PANCAKES. Literally the size of a pan.. we were in awe. So with our last amount of gusto, we attach each plate. I think at this stage, there was hardly any conversation going on in our previously loud, chatty and animated table. (We actually had to say "Happy Hens Breakfast"out loud a few times so that our neighbouring tables had a fake reason as to why we were so hyper -yes its just an ordinary Sunday breakfast.) But yes, at this stage it was like everyone in the table was hit by a tranquilizer gun and we were saving all our energy for chewing. Needless to say, the pancakes won - we considerably dented each one but there was no chance of emptying the plates.
Banana Pancake, Double Cream, Maple Syrup
Chocolate and Raspberry Pancake, Butterscotch Sauce, Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream
Each of the giant pancakes were as good as each other, but I found the Chocolate and Raspberry too ridicoulously rich (in a good way) so I attacked the Banana pancake mostly.
You'd think that being in a Shopping Center we would all have the energy to do some retail therapy - but us girls were just about ready to fall asleep and roll our way home. As the Boss Lady said, the only way we would be able to walk around Top Ryde now is if we hired those electric trolley bikes. This Breakfast was truly one for the record books, and deserves its title as Sydneys tastiest and best value breakfast. The only hard part is getting a group together of 8 people, and chewing. Chewing starts to get hard after a while.
The Empty Fridge Scorecard - (yes, we made it here!)
- The Peak: It has to be the value. So much good quality, delicious and food at $25 per person. Some places thats a "Big" breakfast and 2 coffees - and this is one BIG breakfast
- The Pit: Having to get 8 people together, coordination is the key.
- Empty Fridge Dish of the Day: The Lamb mince tangine is exactly what I am craving for. I am thinking of taking that 7.5 minute drive back
Kazbah Top Ryde
Also available at Kazbah Balmain. See http://www.kazbah.com.au