El Brija

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Houmet Jamaa, Place Grande Mosquee Okba, Kairouan 3100, Tunisia


International, Mediterranean, Tunisian

Good for:

Catering, Delivery, Dinner, Large Groups, Lunch, Reservations, Takeout


4.0 rating based on 1 rating
1 Review

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4.0 rating based on 1 rating
4.0 rating based on 1 rating
4.0 rating based on 1 rating
4.0 rating based on 1 rating
  1. Expert Review

    4.0 rating based on 1 rating
    Jan 2014 · Kate Thomas

    El Brija's name means 'the little tower' in Arabic and it's no misnomer. Kairouan's best restaurant sits up high beside...

    El Brija’s name means ‘the little tower’ in Arabic and it’s no misnomer. Kairouan’s best restaurant sits up high beside the Grande Mosquee in the holy city, and has lovely views out over its prayer hall and the beautiful, incense­ scented winding white alleys of the old medina.

    The terrace has been recently renovated ­ it’s all terracotta and dark wood, with desert plants and iron­ wrought lanterns. It’s dimly­lit and it catches a breeze at night, sending that smell of Kairouan holy incense sweeping through the strands of your hair (unless, like most women in Kairouan, you’re wearing a headscarf.)

    El Brija is as authentic as the rest of Kairouan; eating here, you don’t feel as if the waitstaff are tailoring the menu to tourists. This is good food Tunisian style, and although that means the chorba is a little spicier than over on the coast in Hammamet, you can always ask them to go easy on the heat.

    We started with the chorba, which aside from the fire factor the tongue, was excellent. Light and not too oily. Appetizers included a great aioli dip, olives, thick desert bread and broken tuna with a spicy kick. There’s also a good Tunisian salad and a selection of savoury pastries to try.

    On the entree list, El Brija does Tunisian specialities best. But there’s also a choice of meats; the lamb chops in honey and white almonds sounded good to us, and there’s French roast chicken, lasagna and a trio of raviolis. But we couldn’t get past the house couscous (USD10). It came heaped into an enormous terracotta bowl, chick peas, peppers and eggplant spilling over the top. The chunks of fish were fresh, despite Kairouan being an hour’s drive from the ocean.

    With so many places in Tunisia trying hard to please vacation groups, it’s refreshing to come across El Brija; lively atmosphere, excellent food, haunting views out over the holy city, yet no pretensions.

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