As some of you may be aware, Dar Marrakesh on Edgware road has been quite well known for their Shisha. Recently however, they have stripped out the interior Pub, and converted the inside to a formal restaurant, serving traditional Moroccan food.
What did we order?
For starters we tried this Fatoush salad [£5.20], which is a traditional Arabic salad with mixed greens, vegetables and topped with crispy pitta (their version of croutons). We aren’t huge salad lovers, but this salad was very tasty, from the added pomegranates on top for sweetness, to the dressing and the crunchy pitta on top.
We also tried the Morrocan samosa; these are Briwat [£5.20]- golden filo pastry encasing fresh spinach and feta cheese, which are lightly fried. This veggie option was delicious, especially recommended for cheese fans.
Morrocan cuisine is known for having savory and sweet flavours in one dish, and this starter is a excellent representation of that culinary morrocan taste. This Chicken Bastilla [£6.90] is a crisp pastry filled with chicken, vermicelli, almonds and cinnamon. I’ve never had ‘sweet’ chicken before, so this was an interesting experience, and although I don’t think I would order it again i’m glad I tried it!
Zaalouk [£5.20] , and its varitations, is already a starter favourite of ours- this dish is made from cooked aubgergine, garlic, tomato and coriander, and goes perfectly with their warm pitta bread. The flavours of the cooked aubergine and tomato go really well together!
For mains we got the Moroccan mixed grill [£14.90], which was a plate of lamb, chicken, kefta, lamb chops and chicken wings, served with rice or chips and salad. The kefta and chicken pieces were the best meat in this dish- the chicken was very moist and the kefta had a nice flavour. I am not too fond of lamb pieces that come in mixed grill as they are not as tender as I would like, but the flavour was still amazing. The lamb chops and chicken wings were also a lovely addition. The best part was the flatbread underneath all the meat which soaked up the lovely juices, and became extremely delicious!
The Lamb Tagine [£14.20] was another dish which highlights the contrast between sweet and savoury that is prominent in Moroccan Cuisine. The tender lamb shank was decorated with sweet prunes and almond shavings. I have never had prunes before and was extremely hesitant to try them, but they were lovely and sweet, and went extremely well with the flavour and tender slow cooked lamb shoulder. The ‘Dar Sauce’ that the lamb was cooked in was not at all spicy, but had a lovely sweet flavour. This lamb was truly cooked to perfection!
This Kefta Tagine [£13.20] reminded me of a pakistani kofta curry dish, in a good way! The marinated lamb meatballs in the tagine had a lovely flavour, and were cooked perfectly in the tomato based sauce. There was also a poached egg in the middle which sounds weird but was amazing. If I had to choose one tagine it would be this one, even though both were great!
We had some traditional vermicelli rice [£2.90] to accompany our dishes. This rice you can get in many places, and the subtle flavour (its not just boiled rice) carries the other flavoursome dishes well. If you are having Moroccan cuisine for the first time, go for rice over chips!
We also drank some specially prepared mocktails [~£5]. The red strawberry daiquiri was the best. They also serve alcohol here so make sure you are ordering virgin drinks when you go!
We also had Moroccan mint tea and baklava to finish.
Our first experience with traditional Moroccan Cuisine was great. We loved the contrast between sweet and savoury that could be found throughout the starters and mains. Dar Marrakesh has truly reinvented their restaurant from just a shisha cafe, to one serving great food.
Our favourites were the Fatoush Salad, briwat and the Kefta Tagine!