A word of warning: this is not the full post for the café.
An exhausting morning of classes left me wanting a momentous break from the assignments and seminar work to immerse myself to something relaxing. It'd be perfect if it was related to food and travel. With a half-dozing mind, we took the ride down to Central Market to kill two birds with one stone.
Le Souk is an Algerian-owned, Adelaide-based cafe with a traditional and authentic cuisine to boot. For someone who’s never been exposed to Middle Eastern cuisine before, let alone Algerian, it was something worth tasting. The only association I had with Algeria and its cuisine was its colonization by France.
Keeping a budget in mind and in the mood for something different, I followed the boss's recommendation and ordered a plate of Chicken Couscous. The boss revealed that not only was the couscous double-steamed to ensure that it was soft on the taste buds, it required some 6 hours of slow-cooking for the ingredients to be cooked to perfection. It includes the use of the cafe's Kefta Mix blend with a slight trace of cinnamon. The chicken meat had to be tender to the point where it fell off the bones with ease as it was an Algerian custom to eat it by hand, and not with the help of cutleries.
Chicken Couscous (AUD$ 14.50)
As it was a slightly cool afternoon when we went to Le Souk, I really loved how the Chakchouka warmed the palate. The chicken meat was surprisingly still supple and not chewy, which can sometimes occur when it has been on the stove for a long time. The only setback was that the green peas were overcooked and yellow in complexion.
Blending with the homemade sauce known as harissa produced a different wave of flavor. Its piquancy and spiciness was manageable. It will assuage even the chili-fearing diner.
It was satiating, considering that it was a small, shared plate between us.
Mint Tea (AUD $8.00 for 2; AUD $ 4.50 for 1)
Realizing that it was my virgin exposure to Algerian cuisine, the boss continued to recommend one of his house specialties: the mint tea. It consists of fresh mint leaves that are immersed in boiling water before being topped off with roasted pine nuts for a nutty flavor.
It was brought to my attention - before I could sink my face in it - that the tea had to be poured from a higher angle to ensure that the liquid would be cooler when it landed in the glass (as illustrated in the image above by the boss himself).
The drink was fresh on the plate and had a minty twang to it. It was unfortunate that the amount of saccharine threw me off. Maybe I had forgotten to make that special request for less sugar after all.
A variety of merchandise is available for sale, ranging from the aforementioned mint tea (in powder/sachet) to a cranberry-looking red berry as a flavor infuser and Algerian spices among others.
Le Souk Pty Ltd,
Adelaide Central Market,
23A Victoria Square Arcade,
Adelaide SA 5000
Here's a map of Adelaide Central Market, which will help you ascertain the location of the cafe.