[Food police] 1001 flavours

Every week, a Delta editor tests the food on campus, from the Aula to X and everything in between. We write our review with a hungry yet critical eye. Bon appetite!

This week, the Food Police went to the Couscous Bar. (Photos: Marjolein van der Veldt)

Written by Marjolein van der Veldt & Mirjam van der Ploeg

Restaurant: Couscous Bar
Day: Monday, 26 November 2018
Time: 12:08
Meal: Chicken couscous, chickpea tagine and Moroccan mint tea.

While we were blown away last week by the quality of the Surinamese and Indonesian kitchen at Warung, we take a sharp left to Pulse for our lunch where the Couscous Bar awaits us. It has a choice of Moroccan dishes on the menu. At around midday, it is still quiet so we can order immediately.

  • Temperature

Couscous 8
We’re going to have to hand in our badge as the food police forget the thermometer. We improvise by measuring the temperature with our hands and mouths. Five burned fingers and two burned tongues later, we can testify that the temperature probably meets the standards set by the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority. It may be a satisfactory finding, but our palates are not happy.
Tagine 8
Just like the couscous, the tagine is thoroughly heated through. Even better, it is hot. That is good as you can then relax and do not have to hurry, shovelling spoonfuls into your mouth to avoid eating a last cold mouthful. For the very hungry, this is a good lesson in self-discipline – if you are too greedy you will burn your mouth.

Couscous10_0.jpgNo thermometer, still hot: the chicken couscous.

  • Texture

Couscous 8
You know what to expect. At least, you think you do as after countless attempts you still end up with dry grains and a tough gunk of chicken and overcooked vegetables. In this establishment, we discover that it can be different. We discover that apart from individual grains, couscous can be a creamy base for a tender piece of chicken and perfectly cooked vegetables.

Tagine 7-
Food prepared in a tagine has, like other stews, simmered for a long time. The vegetables have become deliciously soft. But the oil that is poured over the dish at the end does make them a little soggy. Fortunately, the meal is served with a crispy chunk of French bread that they put into the dish. Note: remove the bread quickly otherwise it too will drown in the dish.

  • Flavour

Couscous 8
Hmm, what is that flavour, ras-el-hanout or a touch of mint? This seemingly simple dish keeps us guessing right to the end.
Tagine 8+
The chickpeas and seasonal vegetables in the dish are well flavoured. A brilliant touch is the caramelised onion, a sweet and slightly sharp addition.

  • Quantity/proportion

Couscous 8
Without too many expectations, we choose the medium size. By the time we have finished the container, we are completely full and two hours later, our stomachs are still not clamouring for food. Perfect for lunch. We suggest ordering the large for the evening meal.

Tagine 7
The chickpeas and the bread in the vegetarian tagine made it well filling. By adding some of the couscous from the other dish, it was a perfect, balanced lunch.

  • Price/quality

Couscous 8
Just like last week, this eatery in Pulse is not cheap. For EUR 5.50 we choose one of the cheapest options. It may not be something you do every day, but if you want a good (and healthy) meal, the Couscous Bar is definitely recommended!
Tagine 7
Surprisingly, this vegetarian dish is more expensive than the chicken dish. We paid EUR 5.95. In fact, all the tagine dishes are a little more expensive than the couscous ones.

  • Presentation

Couscous 7
The chicken that is placed on top of the dish is clearly tender. It looks juicy and can be pulled apart gently. While the whole thing may look a little colourless, it still looks tasty.
Tagine 6
Arranged in the well-known carton container with a photogenic layer of shaved almonds on top. Only, we do not understand the leaning tower of Pisa looking French bread. If you add a French touch to your food, let it then stand as proudly as the Eiffel Tower.

Couscous12_0.jpgThe veggie Tagine Pisa.

  • Experience

Couscous 8
It must be a very concentrated chef who fills the containers with microscopic precision. We may like that, but the interaction left a lot to be desired. Luckily the cashier made up for this by filling our cups in a very impressive way with hot (and sweet!) Moroccan mint tea.

Tagine 8-
The large space means that the atmosphere at the different eateries in Pulse remains somewhat cold. Still, the Couscous Bar has created an attractive corner where, after being served pleasantly, we could enjoy the Moroccan cuisine.

Overall rating

Couscous 8-
Tagine 7+

News editor Marjolein van der Veldt

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