July 22, 2014 by Joanne T Ferguson
Chef Georgio and I were!
For my readers overseas and interstate, please allow me to explain HOW excited Chef Georgio and I were (along with Princess What? and Prince Giancarlo of Are You Curious About High Tea and Hello Dolly Lebanese Delight fame) in experiencing this Moroccan cuisine at Marrakesh Restaurant in North Adelaide.
There are only two Moroccan restaurants in Adelaide; Marrakech and Marrakech North Adelaide; both operated by the same owner; we were invited to experience Marrakech North Adelaide.
As soon as one walks into the restaurant, one is automatically transformed into “the feel of Morocco,” including the wall tapestries and wall features!
As you know by now, I am FASCINATED with chandeliers and lights like in As Only The Stamford Can Do and most recently, Do Cupcakes, Chocolate & Desserts Really Make You Smile?
We were warmly greeted by the hostess and throughout the night, all tables were “pleasantly attended to” by our host Asiful.
I LOVE Moroccan cuisine and spices and need no excuse to make Moroccan dishes at home!
Tonight was Princess What? and Prince Giancarlo’s first Moroccan cuisine experience and they were “as excited as can be!”
I thought the best way to enjoy this Marrakech experience would be to go for the Moroccan banquet which provides a wide variety of foods!
Our first course consisted of “traditional” Moroccan stuffed dates with almonds and walnuts.
We all agreed it was an unusual way to start the meal with something sweet, but the balance of flavors with the almonds and walnuts puree, combined with dates and balsamic vinegar was the perfect way to start our Moroccan experience!
Course number two consisted of a quartet of dips served with “warm and welcoming” savory flat breads.
The Khizzou Carrot Dip was “healthily delightful” with steamed carrots, mashed with garlic, with the secret ingredients being cumin and coriander with olive oil and vinegar!
The Bakkoula Spinach Dip took us all by surprise as I loved the combination of tomato, garlic, cumin and chilli!
The Zaalouk Eggplant Dip was “a table delight” with roasted eggplant, cumin, olive oil and smoked paprika, but between the above, the Beetroot Dip was great on the palette too; I sensed contained cumin, garlic, olive oil and other “healthy” ingredients; can’t give away all of the Marrakech chef secrets tonight!
Our most gracious host Asiful asked us had we ever experience Melwi aka Mssemen (the most popular type of Moroccan bread); we all looked at each other in that quizzical way!
We all are adventurous in new food experiences; this Melwi consisting of goat’s cheese, spinach, olives and chilli was provided for tantalizing our taste buds!
What a great combination this was as the “salty and spice” was very nice!
Melwi is a semonlina bread similar to paratha bread and is very easy to make; perhaps it might have to go “on the list!”
This Moroccan specialty chicken Bastilla dish followed and we all could not WAIT to taste!
We could hardly believe (once again) this was a savory dish as with the cinnamon and icing sugar, we (once again) thought we were going to be experiencing a sweet dish!
We all were greatly surprised with this chicken and egg that was wrapped in filo with ground almonds AND cinnamon and icing sugar!
I would like to say this was the Moroccan cuisine “surprise” highlight of the night, but there were many!
For course four, we could choose between lamb, chicken, beef or vegetarian.
Seeing we are all carnivores, (and seeing we had chicken for our previous course), we unanimously chose the categories of lamb and beef.
There were a number of both dishes to choose from on the menu, but our most gracious hostess suggested Afrah Tangine (lamb cooked with cinnamon, honey and prunes with roasted almonds and sesame seeds) as well as Lahrech Tangine (beef meatballs with sharmoula cooked in salsa with eggs); BOTH HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
The lamb literally M-E-L-T-E-D in our mouth and was one of those dishes that all around the table immediately exclaimed “mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!”
The sauce yearned you to want more and in pouring it over the “Moroccan traditionally prepared” cous cous!
If I had a word of advice it would be to “bring your appetite and try the traditional harissa!”
Our next course entertained our taste buds with a choice of Baghrir (a Moroccan pancake with honey, cream, butter, strawberries and walnuts) or Meslala (couscous with ground almonds and honey, cinnamon and sultanas with ice cream); we chose both and I would HIGHLY recommend the two desserts are more than enough to share for four people!
While both of these desserts are the type of dishes that make you want to keep coming back, spoonful by spoonful (even after you are getting full lol), I loved the Meslala and wanted to finish every last drizzle, every last drop of ice cream, every last piece of strawberry and fairy floss!
While the Baghrir was tasteful too, it was my least favorite of the dessert dishes as found the pancakes “a tad” heavy after the “wonderfully delicious” and “more than plentiful” Moroccan banquet we had experienced!
What better way to end the meal with a “unique tasting” and “authentic” Moroccan mint tea!
I even now know the recipe!
Our most gracious host Asiful entertained us with a “very unique way” of pouring tea!
Trust me, you will have to take it from me!
Overall, I could not fault with the overall Moroccan experience and we will definitely be back to experience more of the menu!
This was a lovely way of experiencing a wide variety of Moroccan cuisine in an economical way!
Dinner for four was provided courtesy of vouchers, but my thoughts and review are my own and have not been influenced in any way!
Are you familiar with the rosewater ceremony upon leaving Marrakech?
Perhaps Adelaidians and tourist to our great state need to be curious about this Moroccan cuisine, followed by the rosewater ceremony that needs to be experienced and seen?
Do you like Moroccan cuisine?
What is your favorite dish from above?
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