In this month’s review, we are shining a spotlight on another excellent local gem on Mill Road, Cambridge (look, Mill Road is the place to be… but other locations are coming, I promise!). If you haven't visited one of Cambridge’s best North African restaurants, Bedouin, where have you been?!
Not to worry - whether you’re Bedouin’s biggest fan or you’re yet to immerse yourself in the colourful atmosphere of the Sahara, in their words, let me guide you through our top recommendations when ordering from their extensive menu.
Let’s start with the drinks - no alcohol here, but a vast array of non-alcoholic cocktails and juices which allow you to choose something you might otherwise not have tried! My drink of choice is the 77 - a refreshing blend of Seedlip 42, Lime, Ginger Beer, Lemongrass and Grenadine. A citrusy mix with a sweet sugar rim which the Bedouin menu calls the ‘go to’ option - and I can see why!
Not a citrus fan? Have a mango and passionfruit juice. Fruity and thick, this is a great option to have before starting your meal.
Bedouin just radiates joy, liveliness and a communal atmosphere. That’s why a sharing platter is my top choice of starter. The Kemiette (I’d recommend this for two people) or the Large Kemiette (four people) consists of the Chef’s selection of dips and salads, with a brik pastry parcel, served with hot pitta bread. It’s varied, it’s tasty, and it’s a great option if you prefer to nibble at something light-ish before taking on a whole tagine.
Prefer to go solo? Try the Chekchouka, a rich dish made up of mixed peppers, onions, and tomatoes cooked in olive oil with garlic, egg, flat leaf parsley and harissa. It’s filling, so be prepared for that!
Every single time I go to Bedouin (more times than I care to admit), I struggle not to order the Tagine Berkook. The restaurant has a long list of tantalising tagines, but this combination of incredibly tender beef chunks, melting prunes and apricots, toasted almonds and sesame seeds and an onion, ginger and cinnamon sauce is just the ideal hearty, slightly sweet, delicious dish that could not possibly leave you hungry afterwards. I would recommend ordering this with couscous rather than bread, as the sauce just seeps so wonderfully into the grain. Those with an aversion to coriander, beware, as it tops this dish (beautifully, I think!).
Not about tagines? The Djedj M'hamer is a wonderfully creamy oven roasted chicken supreme marinated in North African spices with a tahini sauce. The sauce is not at all bitter (which is often a danger with tahini) and the chicken is cooked to perfection.
Got room for something sweet? I barely did, but I was determined. Though tempted by the more filling desserts, I went for a ginger and Turkish coffee ice cream, selected from Bedouin’s large selection of flavours. It was a perfect way to top off an amazing meal, and the flavour was SO rich!
If you, admirably, still have room for something bigger, the caramelised fig tart is for you. A sable pastry base, pistachio cream filling and caramalised figs, topped with vanilla ice cream. Just wow. Nothing else to say.
I rarely order a hot drink after eating, but it would just seem wrong not to end a Bedouin meal with a glass of Traditional North African Mint Tea. Half of the joy of this tea is in the performance - it has to be poured from a height to aerate the tea and bring out that minty flavour. Topped off with an after dinner mint, it was delicious.
So, if you want to meet what I’m convinced are the world’s friendliest waiters, or if you even just want to enjoy one of their takeaway Tiffins at home, visit their website here. You can also visit Bedouin’s Facebook page here and their Instagram here.
Please note that, as this article was written in December 2021, Bedouin’s menu may have changed since. All photography by Bedouin.