This past Saturday I celebrated my birthday for the third time!
And that was probably the most obnoxious thing I’ve ever written. To be fair, the first time was a total surprise to me, and the second time was just Evan being wonderful and making dinner which he does all the time… Still, I felt kind of ridiculous having a second birthday dinner with my friends when I already had a birthday dinner with my friends. But this was was already planned, and any excuse for a party!
I have been wanting to check out The Sultan’s Tent on Front Street for years, the self-proclaimed best Moroccan restaurant in the city. Not only is it authentic Moroccan food (or the most authentic Moroccan food we have in Toronto, anyway), which helps my eat the world cause, but there’s a belly dancing show! Each dining group is seated in their own tent-like situation, and once dinner starts belly dancers saunter by your area. Pretty groovy.
I actually really liked the way the seating was set up in our tent. There were four tables of four, and it made it easy to talk to everyone because you could get up and walk around between the tables, or switch tables for a bit if you wanted to talk to a new group. This worked out well for me because I wanted to talk to everyone.
I was so excited my blog friends Casey, Shanondoah and Michelle came!
And my longtime lovers Joanna, Dawn and Emily.
Corey, Lisa, Brad…
(Every time I look at Brad now I think Otto Von Pinkelwurst from our murder mystery dinner — and funny because I think that was the last time we were all together and we were also eating Moroccan!)
Will, Sherrie, Evan.
(Well, Will is fairly new but I feel like he’s been around for a while.)
And our new friend, our fantastic server.
Pretty good turnout.
Okay, now for the eating. I was excited to colour Morocco in on my map.
Drink-wise I ordered the Moroccan mimosa…
And a Moroccan-style beer.
I could not tell you what made either of those more Moroccan than regular mimosas or beer, but I enjoyed both of them.
There was definitely some delicious wine in there too. What, it was my birthday.
On Friday and Saturday nights you have to order from the three course prix fixe menu for $55, but there were a ton of options to choose from so no complaints here. Well, except that some of the options cost $5-$10 more. That was annoying and not really the point of a prix fixe menu, but what can ya do.
For my appetizer I went with the couscous since it is Morocco’s most well-known dish (actually their national dish).
And I got a pic of Sherrie’s hummus, also very popular in Morocco.
And also very good.
For my main I ordered the chicken tagine, Morocco’s other national dish.
Tagine is a slow-cooked savoury stew typically made with sliced meat, fish or vegetables (Evan ordered the chickpea tagine) with various spices, nuts and dried fruits. It is apparently very popular in Morocco and named for the tagine pot it is cooked in. I enjoyed it, however the spices weren’t a combination that I would usually eat together so that was a bit weird. Definitely some ginger, cumin, cinnamon, tumeric and saffron going on in there, which tasted like an odd combo, though I didn’t dislike it. I also don’t think an authentic tagine is usually served over rice, but the alcohol had been steady over on my side of the tent by that point so it was probably good that rice was included.
For dessert I had the creme brulee with crushed pistachio, which was amazing. And then they brought me a little slice of couscous cake for my birthday, which was super interesting.
It is called a sweet keskesu and it is a traditional dish with couscous, cinnamon, powdered sugar, roasted almonds, raisons, orange blossom water and creme anglaise. Different, but not too shabby at all.
Sometime during dinner the belly dancers started coming by. Since I was the birthday girl they were all about getting me up dancing with them. I didn’t mind.
Of course I didn’t, I’m a jambon!
I essentially just mimicked what they were doing.
And probably looked ridiculous doing it.
But that’s alright, I’m sure it was entertaining to watch (judging by the amount of intrigued people in the background). Good times. We even got Otto von Pinkelwurst up there.
And Evan made an appearance as well.
Just click on that to play the video. It’s pretty dark, but hopefully you can make out Evan’s sweet dancing skills. The belly dancing definitely added to the hilarity of the evening.
Part of Dawn’s gift (which was a bunch of things that started with the letter B, for, as Dawn wrote in my card, my bra size — I wish) included a banana.
Not weird at all. It all came in a Disney Princess gift bag, which Evan carried the rest of the night and I didn’t even have to ask him.
Afterwards some of us headed over to The Reservoir Lounge, a jazz bar basically across the street. It has a $10 cover so at first I wasn’t sure if it was going to be worth it but ohhhhh it was. It was. It was awesome.
The highlight of my night was watching Sherrie do the air saxophone on the dance floor, specifically getting a row of strangers to do this with her. She was SO INTO IT, it was hilarious and I was dying. It was killing me softly. When we woke up on Sunday morning the first thing that Evan said was “My cheeks still hurt from laughing at Sherrie doing the air saxophone last night.” Yep. I feel that.
Anyway, it was a really fun time and I’d recommend hitting up The Sultan’s Tent! But I think it’s better in a group setting than say, a date.