Tab Reviews: Bedouin
The first thing you realise about Bedouin is that it’s quite far away.
It’s also on Mill Road — aka “the Brixton of Cambridge”, a place hitherto known only for a) shisha bars b) niche foreign supermarkets and c) where all the drug dealers live.
About 10 mins walk from the far side of Parker’s Piece, it is a rather inconspicuous restaurant from the outside, despite the lavish, sumptuous decor within.
The service was superb from the moment of our entrance to our exit. Olives and assorted, unidentifiable pickles were brought to the table along with the menus, which helpfully provide English descriptions of the obscure-sounding Algerian dishes, and each sounded delicious. After some debate, we decided on a pair of generic mains, a simple hummus starter to share, and a bottle of Algerian wine.
The wine, something called La Cuvée du Prèsidente (Mondays are worth celebrating, right?) was unusually light but perfectly drinkable.
The hummus was delicious and surprisingly filling. Definitely opt in to the optional £1 addition of lamb — it was divine.
The mains followed in due course, and although we calculated a solid hour between our sitting down and their arrival, they were certainly worth the wait.
The lamb tagine – a surrogate for a different lamb dish they had sold out of – was tender and sumptuous. Olives, potatoes and carrots created a perfect fusion of flavours, complimenting the central lamb shank. The ornate tagine pot it was served in only added to the experience.
Similarly, the “Felous Mahshi” — that’s oven-roasted, vegetable-stuffed chicken and couscous — was cooked to perfection, and the wide variety of typically North African ingredients (prune, honey, carrot, mushroom) worked really well to spice up the cous-cous. Definitely ask for the ‘special hot sauce’ — whilst not particularly hot, it was a nice complement to the chicken.
Whilst we were by this point far too stuffed to consider dessert, the cup of traditional mint tea was definitely a highlight, bringing back decadent memories of halcyon days languishing around in opulent Riads in the centre of exotic Marrakesh. If, you know, you’re into that sort of thing.
We were told how they regularly have Cambridge students dine there, including a group of fifty who booked out the entire restaurant shortly before Christmas (we’re looking at you, John’s).
It’s a bit of a trek by foot, especially compared to other restaurants in the city centre, but it is certainly worth the effort (or taxi ride). Our meal came to about £50, but the two mains added up only to about half that.
The overall experience was just wonderful. Bedouin is a hidden gem; if you can find the excuse, or just fancy something a bit more exotic and a little more decadent than Sidgwick sandwiches for lunch, make the trek.