Tuesday, January 11, 2011


In yet another changing of the guard for this new year, Casbah has taken over from Pacifica at Mandarin Oriental, providing a dramatically different but equally exciting dining experience in an opulent Arabian-style lounge setting.

Mezze and tapas are the key offerings here, bringing customers on a culinary voyage that spans Spain, North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean.

We began dipping into the (currently limited) menu with some exotic-sounding taramosalata, a Greek and Turkish savory blend of cured carp roe, mashed potatoes, olive oil & lemon juice. Thick and creamy, with an appetizingly subtle fishy flavor.

Htipiti, a mix of roasted red pepper & feta cheese. As soft and smooth as the best of butters, with a marvelously milky taste enhanced by a mildly spicy kick.

Tzatziki _ strained yogurt with cucumber, garlic & parsley. Refreshingly tangy. Carb-fearers should steer clear of Casbah though, since these dips work so well with bread.

Prawns steamed over hot stones, served with saffron rouille. Hot comfort food for a cold night, with a lovely herbal flavor that seemed nourishing for both the stomach and the soul.

Creative cocktails: Casbah Colada (Havana Silver Rum, lime, pineapple juice, gold leaf) & Moroccan Green Tea Mint Derby (Belvedere citrus vodka, mint, lemon, green tea, soda).

Casbah's business hours are brilliantly convenient _ the kitchen opens 5pm-1am.

Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur.


  1. When I read the title I just kept hearing that song, Rock the Casbah, in my head. :)

    Love how the restaurant looks! N the food looks really interesting too...

  2. j: oooh, i keep thinking of that song too! i really love it (i actually have all of the clash's albums). so catchy. i think we'll be hearing it in our dreams tonite :D

  3. Eiks..the name 'Casbah" doesnt mean anything to me.
    Am I too 'young" ?? LOL.

    I aint afraid of breads, but at 5pm..err..might nd to cut dwn on crabs di ;p

    Hhmm..I'm goin to wait fr your 2nd, 3rd post before budgeting to head here .. hehehe..as I predict you'll be back for more of the mains?

  4. Tng: heheh, casbah itself means something like fortress, but 'rock the casbah' is a british punk song from the early 80s (definitely as old as you are, yikes!). Argh, I just had two burgers for supper at 11pm just now, so I'm feeling carb-guilty. But yeah, we'll all definitely be hearing more about casbah in the days and weeks ahead! :D

  5. rock the casbah .. rock the casbah.. (just like jokim, am doing a lil jig:P) hehe

    so, are the prices like Pacifica prices or less?

  6. Ciki: boogie boogie boogie :D well, the small plates are ok, starting from rm15-30. The main courses are pricier, including an rm80 paella. Cocktails also cost upwards of rm30, but that's to be expected, I guess =)

  7. I have not even heard of Casbah :P I'm too young as well!

  8. *sob* I miss Pacifica. I'm not sure if I'm ready for change. :-P

  9. leo: aiya, u all were still babies in the mid-80s, when i was in primary school. heheh :D
    lemongrass: any change for the better is a positive thing! though i think u'll probably say that u preferred pacifica when u step into casbah :D

  10. ooh there's no more Pacifica? Haha.. I've never even been to Pacifica. the interior does look nice and cosy.

  11. No more pacifica? Hmm, I shall ask my mom to bring me here! She has a card!

  12. eiling: ya, pacifica managed to survive for nearly three years, i think. i liked it a lot; it was gorgeous and intimate, and the food was generally impressive :D
    michelle: heheh, if only she could bring me along! i don't have any hotel membership/privilege cards anymore...