PIERRE KHODJA HAS never strayed far from the North African flavours/french technique brief. From Canvas in Hawthorn to the Flinders Hotel and now Northcote’s Camus, he’s always been about a combination of dusky North African spicing/fruit sweetness with a kind of elegant flair that raises it well above rustic. Heroic portions are a recurring theme at Camus, so for $15 you get three hockey puck-sized duck croquettes and a host of extras: jumbo capers fried on the stem, date and lime purée, more duck leg meat mixed with caramelised onion and cinnamon. The mechoui of lamb – classic street food where the lamb is steamed and pan fried to order and served on a thin chickpea pancake that soaks up the meaty juices and the zingy fresh tabouleh – could pass as a neat dinner for one. There’s a shallow-fried bourek of brik pastry filled with kale, goat’s cheese and herbs, from which the yolk of a fried egg spills. Over on the main menu you’ll find whole non-rubbery calamari stuffed with a delicate farce of prawn meat, sweetbreads and coriander in a bisque-style sauce with notes of saffron, cinnamon and chilli. Quail is marinated in smoked honey and cinnamon, stuffed with minced chicken and more sweetbreads and dressed with a salad that matches the bitter edge of raddichio with pistachios and dried fruit. And then there’s the goat. It’s cooked for 12 hours with orange zest and cardamon, cinnamon and juniper berries, until it is lolling in a silken, unctuous sauce with fat dried apricots. North African design references are sly and subtle: smoky-glassed pendant lights and a row of spices lined above the open kitchen counter. The wine list stays between familiar locals (Bannockburn shiraz), some natural-leaning numbers and a few curios such as a Moroccan syrah. The record also ought to note that there are Camusthemed cocktails. Workshop the mysteries of life over the Outsider (Four Pillars gin, elderflower, pink peppercorns).