In case that you didn’t know, I love Middle-eastern food, especially the dips. The spices that are used and the aroma fascinated me. Growing up in countries that lack of Middle-eastern foods, I only had the opportunity to try it after I came to Montreal. I was hooked after the first exposure, and KazaMaza was the first Middle-eastern restaurant that I visited 4 years ago.
I was so looking forward to come back for brunch! Locating on avenue du parc (close to avenue du Mont-Royal), it is a very accessible spot. The menu comprises of a great list of salads, mezzes, and mains to share, and there are few additional items only available for brunch on weekends.
It is obligatory to start with mezzes! We opted for the choice of three: Baba ghannouj, Mutabbal betteraves, and Mouhammara. First time I had baba ghannouj, grilled eggplant puree with tahini, garlic, and lemon, was when a friend made it for potluck. I was never a fan of eggplants, but it was the first eggplants dish that I would order no matter what. The seasoning of baba ghannouj at Kazamaza was on the spot. The garlic wasn’t too overwhelming, the nuttiness from tahini, and a hint of citrusy taste helps with lighten up the palate. As for the mutabbal betteraves, a roasted beet puree with tahini, garlic, and lemon, was sweet in flavor, and the earthiness of beets was masked by the tahini and garlic. The flavors just worked harmoniously, not to mention that the vibrant color is definitely an eye-catcher. Last but not least, mouhammara is a mix of ground walnuts, bread crumb, pomegranate molasses and spices. It was incredibly fragrant and smokey, and had more crumbly texture compared to the other two.
Moving on to salad… I heard that their fattouche is a must. The crispy lettuce even coated with sweet pomegranate vinaigrette along with savory herbs, crispy pita chips, and juicy tomatoes.
We also shared a starter, kibbé, which is bulgur-based croquettes stuffed with your choice of spinach or beef.
I don’t eat beef, so we opted for spinach. It had a thin layer of crust, but so fluffy inside! It was almost like falafel, but better.
This is braised lamb shank with smoked whole wheat, aka friki, served with a mint and cucumber yogurt sauce.
This was the dish that my friend raved about when I asked her if she wants to go to KazaMaza for brunch. At Kazamaza, lamb is one of their signature dishes. I’m never a fan of lamb cause of its gamey taste, but not this one!
The meat comes off the bone easily and very clean. As my friend described, every single bite was finger-licking good.
Since I don’t really eat lamb, I had fattet humus from their brunch menu, which is only available on weekends.
It consists of chickpeas, yogurt tahini sauce, crispy pita bread, clarified butter, pine nuts, and pistachios. I loved it! Though it was a lot of chickpeas to finish by one person (strongly recommend you share), the yogurt tahini sauce was creamy, rich, but not overpowering that made me feel too heavy.
Overall, it was a pleasant brunch. Great company with delicious food. It was actually better than my first visit. Wished we had room for desserts. Kazamaza describes itself as Middle-eastern cuisine because the food can’t be really categorized into a particular country, such as Lebanese, Syrian or Armenian. Instead, the dishes are inspired by all the regions across Middle-east, yet not fusion. You might find a mix of different elements from each country, but each dish retains its own characteristics. Skip those ordinary bacons and eggs, step out of the comfort zone, you’ll discover a whole new world.
4629 avenue du Parc, Montreal
Tel: +1 (514) 844-6292