Sahara Mezz Bar
Middle Eastern. G/F, 11 Elgin St., Central, 2291-6060.
Good ol’ Sahara has been offering reasonably priced food, decent drinks and a bit of old-fashioned fun since it opened in 2005. Having become a SoHo mainstay for cheap happy hour and shisha, we decided to head back to see what’s changed.
HIT We decided the mezze platter was too obvious (although the one our neighbors were feasting on looked pretty awesome) and instead went for the pastille ($65), essentially a pigeon pastry filled with egg and spices, which was both unusual and delicious. We also enjoyed the roasted fresh fig salad ($90), which came dotted with plenty of soft goat cheese. The lamb tagine ($165) was tasty and a generous portion, though it didn’t blow our minds. We washed this down with a couple of bottles of excellent Lebanese 961 beer and a mint tea.
MISS The vegetarian cous cous ($90), while pleasant enough, was really nothing more than chunky vegetable broth in which we struggled to discern much in the way of a Moroccan influence. With plenty of shisha being smoked, loud music and slightly cramped seating, this might be a less comfortable meal if you’re looking to relax instead of rushing off for a big night out after your meal.
BOTTOM LINE Good rather than great food, a buzzy atmosphere and generous hospitality mean that Sahara is still the fun night out it’s always been.
Open daily 6-11.30pm. $$