Magic Marrakech - restaurants

perjantai 1. maaliskuuta 2019

Marrakech has an abundancy of restaurants for every taste. During our one week stay we had the opportunity to explore a few … and wisely enough took the advice our hotel and guides gave us. They certainly knew what they were talking about, except for one concierge who insisted on us going to Dar Rhizlane, which was within walking distance. Stunningly beautiful place but not very tasty food and awkwardly behaving personnel.

I can't recall all the dishes we enjoyed in the different restaurants but I give you the links to the restaurants listed in this post, and I'm happy if your interest in Marrakech awakens … go ahead and start planning your own culinary trip! You won't regret it!

1. Al Fassia (Guéliz)

A restaurant that mainly employs women, which is out of the ordinary in Marrakech. It's also a boutique hotel, run and owned by a family. The cuisine is refined and the service is exquisite. Obligatory first dish to share (we were told): selection of fine salads; many with carrot and aubergine in different shapes and tastes. Awesomely divine! Number one definitely.

The main, which we also shared was among the tastiest lamb dishes I've ever had. Roasted lamb shoulder with veggies, fruit and almonds. Out of this world delicious.

2. Lotus Privilège

A stunningly beautiful riad hotel with a restaurant. During the dinner there is a belly dancing show and som live music. The location of the restaurant is a bit tricky, but fortunately there is a man leading you through back alleys and ruins to this illuminated pool and inner courtyard.

This was our last dinner so we simply had to enjoy the lovely Moroccan salads for starters a last time.The spicy carrot in the upper left corner and the roasted bell peppers in the middle were favourites this time.

Our main consisted of a veal tagine with plums and apricots, served on a beautiful Moroccan plate. Delicious, as was the Moroccan red wine (Terres Sauvages) that accompanied the tagine. All the Moroccan wines we had during the trip were outstanding. It's a pity you can't buy them in Finland.

3. La Maison Arabe

One more riad hotel and a very beautiful one. We were seated by the pool under the starlit sky and a few musicians played classical music in the background. This night happened to be very cold and I wasn't wearing a warm enough overcoat, which diminished the enjoyment to some extent. And I didn't succeed in choosing my dishes as well as my husband did. Such a shame. He had very well prepared dumplings as a starter and I had  not so tasty spring rolls. Not Moroccan but Asian,  as they also have an Asian menu.

My main course: a John Dory fish dish didn't give what it promised (it was dry and bland) but my husband's Asian style fish in a crust was heavenly. Good for him. I should have chosen the Moroccan menu. The pics are his dishes.

The desserts on the other hand were delicious. I had the gingery crème brûlée (first photo of this post) and my husband had the lemon pie. This was the only time we had dessert during the trip...if you wonder.

Read about my cooking workshop here

4. Sofitel Impérial Hotel Restaurant

We stayed at this wonderful hotel (often when we travel we choose this French chain because it always delivers) and decided to have dinner here the arrival night, which we didn't regret. Except for the loud music and the cigarette smoke. 
We settled for their 3 course menu, which started with a colourful vegetable soup. 

The main was a lamb tagine with a lot of prunes. It really didn't look that appetizing but appearance can be deceitful, as you probably know. This was the best tagine we had on this trip!

For dessert we had a choice of Moroccan pastries. Quite a lot to eat for somebody who normally isn't used to desserts. But the small petit fours beauties  (unfortunately no pic) landed safely in our bellies. Yummy!

5. So Lounge Sofitel

A restaurant ( in the new part of the hotel) with Moroccan, Mediterranean and Asian menus. We were craving Asian food this evening and were too lazy to grab a taxi and go somewhere. It would have been nice to eat in the garden but it was a little bit too chilly. My crab salad was enormous … it was just a starter they said. Very tasty and nicely spicy.

My main course was also big enough for two. It looks messy but oh my god the taste! Among the best Asian dishes I've eaten. This restaurant was more of a club: the neon lights are the reason for these lousy photos. Later there was a band performing and the place turned into a night club. And one of the most popular in Marrakech I understood. 

My husband's choice was this beautiful salmon pastrami. 

6. Dar Zellij

A wonderfully romantic palace from the 17th century with extraordinary interior and architecture, transformed into a restaurant. Foodwise I had expected more flavourful dishes. We had the salads for starters and then I had a lamb couscous that was huge… it could have fed a whole family.
We started four floors up on the rooftop with a glass of Moroccan grey wine, looking out over the fairy-tale medina. 

Original painted ceilings. What a beautiful piece of work!

My attention was drawn to the floor … I adored the time-worn tiles.

Lute player. Lovely calming music.

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