Saturday, August 30, 2014

[Review] Kazbah Restaurant

My friends and I decided to utilise a $50 voucher and go out for dinner. We chose Kazbah because it was apparently the cheapest out of all the restaurants. AND.. it had my vote because it had a halal menu.

Note: despite the restaurant having a 'halal menu' there were still some items that were not halal.

Not going to go into details but what went down that night. I guess this post will take on a review style!

The atmosphere and setting 4/5
Was pleasant. It was a weeknight and most of the diners were sitting outside smoking argileh and drinking wine.
We came in around 6.30pm and there was only 2-3people in the actual indoor dining place.

The room was dark but we had a nice view of the harbourside. We were seated at wooden table and chairs. But there was also those booth chairs with extremely comfy-looking cushions on them too.

I also saw a private space in the corner with curtains. So if any of you guys come in as a group and would like some privacy during your meal, I guess the restaurant can cater for that :)

Not sure if you can book it though. Probably should call up to check, especially if you're thinking of going on a busy night.

The Bathroom 3/5
Yes! They have a bathroom. It was quite small. But the essentials were there.. the toilet was clean and they have a nice sink. The floors were a little wet but not slippery gross wet as if a monsoon had filled up the floor.

The service 4/5
The waitress serving us was real nice and kindly pointed out which meals were not halal. There were some desserts that had vodka in it, but she took note of our requirements and arranged for the dish to not have alcohol in it which is super nice.
We didn't have to wait too long for our meals either. However, the waitress did know that we were sharing our plates so it would've been nice if she divided the meals equally between the three of us.

And now.. for the important bit...

The Food


  • Kazbah's Mezze Plate - Goat, Black Olives, Pumpkin, Saffron Yoghurt Sauce, Pinenuts % Almond Burnt Butter (with couscous) 4/5

I loved it. The side dishes (to the right of the blue bowl) was interesting. The top was some chilli powder, the middle was I think some saffron spicy thing and the bottom was a salty and sour pickle thing. I love salty and sour things!

This dish was REAL good. The goat was tender. And it's not everyday that you eat goat. It was a nice blend of curry with the couscous. It was like the fused together in your mouth and gave you this warm feeling in your belly.

  • Shish kebabs - Camel Kafta, Brown Lentil Moujadara, Tunisian Style Ratatouille, Date Sauce, Crispy Fried Onions 4.5/5

This was SO yummy! I love camel! This is the second time I've eaten camel this year (possibly my entire life) and I loved it! Only downside was that it didn't have enough side dish. I assume the rice surrounding it was the side dish. Well, it needed more of that! But the camel was tender, juicy and there's just something about the texture of camel meat that makes it special. Definitely one of those exotic dishes to try out in an exotic restaurant.

  • Specialties - Roast Duck, Falafel, Honey Baked Quince, Sweet Potato Chips 3/5
It was nice, to say the least. I wasn't too sure about what I was expecting from this dish. After coming in after the goat and camel dishes, it was quite plain. The duck didn't really absorb the sauce it was sitting on. It wasn't tender or juicy, but I guess it's safe to say I had tastier things that night. I felt slightly ripped off as it was the most expensive thing we ordered that night! But the dish was not bad.


I haven't been to many harbourside restaurants, but their drinks menu was packed with alcoholic drinks! But to fit in with the fancy setting, decided to go for the mocktails.


I ordered a lychee mocktail while my two friends ordered a mixed fruit.

Left (yellow): Mixed Fruit mocktail
Right (pink): Lychee mocktail
The lychee mocktail was so good. No regrets. I was hesitant to pick it as my friends ordered the mixed fruit. But after tasting theirs, I LOVE the lychee more. It was sweet and very syrup-py but I highly recommend it. I can't remember what the other flavours were though..

The mixed fruit had I think apple and pineapple amongst other things which I cannot recall at the moment. I thought those fruits were pretty everyday-ish. And the drink mostly tasted like pineapple.

Lychee mocktail 3.5/5
Mixed fruit mocktail 3/5


Wow.. where do I begin with desserts. Let's start with the nice one - but not the best one of the night.
  • Fruit mince bisteeya, raspberry and custard sauce, pistachio coated halawa ice cream 3/5
This dish was really yummy. I loved the whatever pastry thing was underneath. And pistachio-covered ice-cream is my 3rd favourite ice cream. The raspberry sauce in the custard though.. to quote my friend "tasted like dimetapp". LOL. I didn't think of it when I first tasted it... but I can't find any other words to describe that red liquid any more accurately. But I think the custard saved that bit.

It's a dish I wouldn't really go for again though.
  • Kazbah bomb for Two, Turkish Delight Ice cream, Blueberries 4.5/5

This dish was originally "flamed with Vodka". But we asked the waitress to omit the vodka bit.

This dessert is one of the tastiest things to ever enter my belly! I LOVED the Turkish Delight ice cream. I am not a big fan of Turkish delights.. but that ice cream was just LOVE. And it was coated in some crumb thing (like they do with fried ice cream), and covered in meringe which I think made the overly sweet ice cream taste even better! And to complete the flavouring, the blueberries added this acidic tinge to the dessert which makes this so perfect.

It's a harbourside restaurant in Sydney. Expect dishes to be on the pricey side. To be honest, $30 for a dish is just ridiculous. But well we had a voucher..

oh damn that triple digit bill!
Yes. I THOUGHT we had a voucher until for some reason their eftpos machine couldn't read the voucher card! Well.. the night did not end well. Spent A LOT of money. We emailed the voucher company and apparently they got some new eftpos machine. Still waiting to hear the outcome.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

When trying to impress your supervisors for the sake of impressing

Okay, funny and depressing story I have for you lot today!

So since my research project is basically centred on this chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, I practically have NO DATA for my thesis yet. And there is ONLY ONE AND A HALF months left!

*panic mode*

So anyways. If I start ChIP assays on Monday, my data isn't usually ready before the Friday meeting I have with my program head (who is also my cosupervisor). But what I did have were some cyto assays I was working on. And I wanted to compare them to the sequencing paper that I am basing a part of my project on. But the IC50 of my results were different to that obtained in the paper.

When I brought this issue up, my cosupervisor looked at my graphs and the title and just said: how long was the treatment period in the paper.

And then I thought: OH CRAP. I didn't check that out.

After looking at the paper: "72 hours".

Cosupervisor: "And how long was yours?"

Me: "24 hours..."

And then I got asked why I chose "24 hours".

Tbh, I really don't know why. I thought that was the general treatment time for all drugs. But I didn't want my cyto assay trainer to get in trouble, so I told him:

"because it was convenient".


Um yeah. Not exactly the best thing I could have said. And then I got told off about how I didn't have any intellectual control over my project. Especially at this point in the year. I was also reminded of how I didn't have any data for my thesis yet.

So I basically felt like crap. And that conversation just kept echoing in my head throughout my entire weekend.

My cosupervisor asked if I knew how my drug worked. And I responded: "I don't know.."
He then asked if I had read the group's 2005 paper, which I couldn't tell which one..

So yeah. I am basically not that well versed in the literature. I don't have intellectual control over my project and I ask stupid questions and can't "arm myself" when I do because I don't know about the literature and am just blindly diving into doing things. :(

I am so angry at myself. What my cosupervisor said is all true. It was a giant slap in the face. But a slap I really needed.

I need to read more literature. But I just gotta find the time!

Well, after my cosupervisor expressed his disappointments about me not reading the literature...

I am still feeling a little down. I don't know if I will be able to face him tomorrow. I just... I haven't cried once. But I feel like it. But no tears will come out.

It is such a long journey. But considering the time I have left.. I wish the journey was longer. Im running out of time for my thesis.



Thursday, August 7, 2014

Eid Mubarak!

I haven't been updating this blog much lately!

But wanted to say to all my brothers and sisters: EID MUBARAK! TAQABALLAH MINNA WA MINKUM INSHA ALLAH!

I hope you enjoyed your open houses with your friends and families.


Just an update.. the end of honours is nearing and I am freaking out. So much pressure to generate data aiyyaaa.

I really want the end of November to come already. But at the same time.. I am dreading it! So much to do between now and then!

Insha Allah I can do this! Insha Allah!