MedinaOnce again, I had left my book at home somewhere, so it was another gold card restaurant that was needed. Since my other sister decided to gatecrash our party, a total discount venue, rather than a two-for-one mains was desireable. And because it was cold and I was lazy and didn’t feel like walking anywhere, somewhere on the bus route home was needed – preferably somewhere that I could get a big plate of heartiness at. Medina was decided upon, as it seems to have beaten the curse that made other restaurants in its location at 18 Cambridge Terrace close down very rapidly. The review is after the jump.

I arrived at 6pm on the dot, our agreed meeting time, and the restaurant was empty. The very very chatty Chinese-New Zealander maitre d’ (a natural choice for a Morrocan restaurant!) let me pick my own table, and after cracking jokes for ages, brought me out a plate of grainy bread, marinated olives and delicious corianndery hummus on the house. I tried to hold back on the plate and wait for my sisters, but as he kept talking, and I texted them to hurry up because I was too sober for that much chitchat, I decided to eat most of the olives by myself, as they were damn tasty. I ordered a bottle of Vidal Sav ($34?) from the small wine list, and laughed at the maitre d’s jokes, resigning myself to not being able to work on my book of lists after all. Finally my sisters showed up and my admirable restraint on the bread and hummus was rewarded with a new larger plate of it emerging from the kitchen again. They each ordered Lamb Tagine, and I opted for Chicken Bastella, which promised pastry, chicken and nuts. Mmmmm!

Plates of a standard but tasty salad came out before our mains, which was a nice touch. The tagines were warm and soupy, thick with vegetables, and my chicken was surprisingly dusted with icing sugar, but somehow it worked. It went particularly well with the extra dish of hummus I was given with a smile. Mmmmmm chicken pastry. It might have been nice to get some rice or other form of starch with it for $24, but damn it was tasty. And we were left with some room for dessert, so of course when we heard that the baklava was stuffed with cashews, we had to go for that. We asked for two orders of it, and the ever-accomodating maitre d’ said that it normally comes with four pieces per order, but since there were three of us, he’d ask the chef to give us an extra piece. Thank god he did, because otherwise there might have been some serious drama within the McLeod family. That baklava was delicious.

So with the 25% discount, we paid $32 each for mains, wine and dessert, as well as bread & hummus, salad and an extra piece of baklava on the house. It wasn’t the most mind-blowing food ever, but it was yummy, and the service was a little over the top but taken in the spirit with which it was intended. I’d return on a Friday or Saturday to see the belly-dancing, have some more laughs with the maitre d’ and to get more of that baklava.