Marrakech - Know anything about the following restaurants?
I will be in Marrakech for a week in December and while we already have a few restaurants picked out (including Casa Lalla) I wanted to see if anyone had any info on the following:
Bo & Zin
Thanks in advance!
Le pavillion is excellent -- we live in Morocco and eat there every time we go to Marrakech. Try the salad folle -- my partner swears it's the best salad he's ever eaten. My mouth waters just thinking of it!
al fassia was very good... please let us know what you ate at cassa lalla and give a review. i tried to get a reservation there this summer but couldn't get in. (such a procrastinator)
I would love to revive this thread as I am heading to Marrakech for New Year's and looking for advice as to can`t miss eats. I realize that a lot of the great food is street food or home food (we will have a cook in our riad) but am going to try Casa Lalla and Pavillion. Anywhere else I must eat?
If you are going to Casa Lalla because of what you have read or heard about the Michelin star Chef Richard Neat, he is no longer there. He left about a year ago. The food reviews after he left have been very inconsistent and from what a gather not even close to Chef Neat's talents.
We just got back from Marrakesh. Al Fassia is a must. If you want to go there for dinner, you'll want to make reservations as soon as you touch down. We weren't able to make a reservation for a day or two out. The lunch menu is the same as the dinner menu. It was our best meal in Morocco.
I too live in Morocco and have for some years now. I am back in the States until March while hubby (of 6 months this weekend) settles himself in Spain for the next 2 years. I will follow in March. While I realise my response in not in direct contact with the original question, I wanted to add what I know and how it is for me. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
I write a published Moroccan food column and Moroccan *authentic* cookbooks. I speak of my personal Morocco. While yes, these restaurants are lovely, they are not ''real Moroccan'' food. They tend to be French with Moroccan influences for the most part. If you think that tagines are cooked in a tagine, go into the kitchens and see the pressure cookers, just as home cooks use. Special occasions to remember the old ways only are when a tagine is actually cooked in a tagine and of course in more remote areas where folks still cook on a brazier which is dwindling quickly. The only time that dried fruits and warm spices are used is for a wedding, celebration of a birth etc. Most of Morocco uses fresh lemon in chicken with olives and lemon tagine, not preserved. Most of Morocco does not use preserved lemons at all. Funny how I went there with a food notion in mind and had it utterly quashed!
The finest places to enjoy real Moroccan food, IMO, are in homes and tiny local's eateries. Real Morocco cafes who do real Moroccan breakfast, not a petit pain or pastry and coffee. I have reviewed these and other restaurants along with their recipes and they are more Moroccan 'style' than true Moroccan. Go to the fine restaurants for what they are and just realise that they do not represent Moroccan food well.
P.S. I was born and raised in the US to parents of European and French Canadian descent until I left in 2000. So don't let the name allow you to decide who I am though I am every inch Moroccan in every way that matters. I was told recently by someone; ''you have to realise that when people hear your name, they will NOT be expecting a 6' blonde woman to come through the door!'' LOL
Hajar probably gave you the most true advice. Although I disagree about the preserved lemons. Preserved lemons are a regional thing. Some people make and use them others don't. I have lived in Morocco and had preserved in lemons in many people's homes. On your list I have been to Kechmara and Dar Moha. Frankly Dar Moha was disappointing as I was expecting really innovative Moroccan food which it really wasn't. Instead it was Moroccan food dressed up for tourists. As for Kechmara it is nice for lunch. If you want to try authentic Moroccan food your best option is probably to stay in a small riad which can make you authentic food by request (you will pay more). Do some research abot which riads are known for their food. Otherwise try to get an invitation to someone's one, however this will be difficult. The one thing which is generally authentic are the Moroccan salads. They make an excellent healthy meal. No matter what you will love the food even if it isn't completely authentic.
I agree on the preserved lemon thing. My SO is Moroccan and they make and use them in his home all year round as well as many other homes I have stayed in. But I do agree about the use of pressure cookers. My MIL uses hers quite often but interchanges with her tagine as well.
Nice to know Casa Lalla wasn't as good as before. I couldn't get in all the times I had been in the past (procrastinator!!!) and was hoping to go next time but now I won't bother!