Kassaba is coming through
Kassaba is a place like no other. The very idea of combining a restaurant with a nightclub would no doubt send Gordon Ramsay into an expletive-fuelled frenzy, but the sweary chef and his Michelin-star chasing comrades are not the target clientele here.
This is a place for the young, trendy people of Haringey to enjoy a bit of glamour and a touch of the high life.
The former water pumping station – which in recent years had become fine dining restaurant The Pumphouse – has been revamped at great expense and the result is pretty spectacular.
Glittering chandeliers and awe-inspiring Middle-Eastern, Persian and Turkish furniture adorn the various rooms, which include a boutique cocktail bar with dance floor, Royal VIP suite and a shisha garden as well as the restaurant area downstairs.
All the furniture was imported prior to the opening a month ago, and already the venue has created quite a buzz in the area.
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When we visited on Saturday night the party was already in full flow by 7.30pm.
No self-respecting nightclub would get going that early of course, but the restaurant is almost as lively.
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The music booms out across the venue as stylish looking groups of 20-somethings laugh, joke and celebrate. Whether it’s the birthday crowds or the big groups of girls dressed to the nines on Sex and the City style nights out, everyone seems to be having a good time.
Music from Beyonce to Bryan Adams blares out across the dining room, but perhaps surprisingly given the context, the food is rather good.
The menu is from the “something for everyone” category, with dishes from India, the Caribbean, Italy, Eastern Europe, Greece and the Middle East.
The table next to us even demanded a tagine, even though it was nowhere to be seen on the menu, and to our astonishment the traditional Moroccan cuisine arrived, complete with authentic cooking pot and all.
It’s almost as if you can have anything you want here, but I always think it’s better to listen to those in the know, so on the recommendation of our host we ordered a selection of halloumi, calamari and zucchini.
They were all pretty good, but the exotically named and sensationally flavoured house special of Moorish Split Chicken Wings stole the show, particularly because you get six wings for just �3.75.
A Macedonian Kleftiko for main was also absolutely huge, and perfectly braised with red wine and herbs.
A farmed Scottish salmon fillet baked in a subtle honey and mustard sauce and an unusual berry sorbet were also high in quality and low on cost.
A couple of speciality cocktails in the dazzling upstairs bar, with its flashing lights everywhere and rocking dance floor, and it was time to make our exit with an early morning game of football on the horizon.
Kassaba may not be everybody’s cup of tea, and it’s certainly not one for the faint-hearted, but despite the huge outlay on interior decor, the food and drinks are very reasonably priced, and it’s an awful lot of fun.
Themed nights with belly and flamenco dancers, and salsa classes for adventurous customers are in the pipeline as the ambitious owners seek to make the lavish venue the place to be seen in Hornsey, and who would bet against them.
Everywhere else better watch out, because Kassaba is coming through. – ROB BLEANEY
l Mains: from �6.50
l Wines: from �11.95
l Disabled access: Yes
l Children welcome: Until 8pm