[Photograph: David Straight]
Remember Ahmed Zaoui? The Algerian refugee who New Zealand so shamefully locked up for supposedly being a security risk? Well these days, he and his sons are running Salam, a very fine North African stall in the Lim Chour Foodhall. All of which would be irrelevant, were it not for the fact that it’s really good.
The menu is limited, but we like that – choose from a lamb tagine, a chicken tagine, or a fish tagine ($11). We went on blustery weekday night before a show, and asked for the fish: no dice. Zaoui senior wasn’t there that day, and he makes the fish. We had lamb instead, and it was magnificent: two big lamb shanks, cooked slowly with spices and served with a giant pile of pilaf rice. Then, because we were greedy, we got a meat selection from the grill – chicken, lamb, liver, spices – served in pita. It is simple, generous food.
Best of all, the Zaouis are gentle, possibly the only food stall owners in Auckland who let you pay at the end. Salam indeed. SFG
HOURS Monday to Sunday, 9am to 9pm.
CONTACT DETAILS 184 Karangahape Road, Newton, ph 307-3909. No website, but they do have a Facebook page.
IMPORTANT DETAILS No booze. Obviously.