‘Red City Restaurants’- Marrakech - by Samantha Owen-Stoddart
Each time I visit the Red City I like to try new restaurants. With hundreds of restaurants to choose from in Marrakech you are always spoilt for choice! Sometimes I plan where I would like to eat, to avoid the disappointment of not getting a table and others times it is by other people’s recommendations or sheer spontaneity of seeing somewhere.
These three restaurants, which I ate at on my recent trip to Marrakech are all certainly worth a special mention and I would definitely recommend to you all, when visiting the Red City!
Dar Moha, Quattro and Le Trou Au Mur
Dar Moha in my opinion is a hidden gem, located on Dar El Bacha (near Riad Tizwa) and owned by the famous chef, Moha Fedal. Morocco’s answer to Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsey. The restaurant is situated in a riad, which I didn’t know until recently that it was once owned by Pierre Balmain, the famous designer. Once you step into this restaurant you are wowed by the size and elegance of it. As we were taken to the garden area and sat poolside, I couldn’t stop looking at all the beautiful details. Such as the trees and flowers around me and the perfectly lit pool with amazing tilework, as well as the authentic entertainment playing as we entered. The restaurant also has several other rooms to eat in too!
Dar Moha offers each diner a set menu of 5 courses, which consists of a starter of 14 Moroccan salads, they are all so tasty and delicious enough as a meal in themselves, with warm breads. Then a choice of pastillas, tagines and couscous, followed by dessert. The cost per person is 530 DHS. I chose the monkfish pastry and my husband had the vegetable pastry with coriander, both were light and so flavoursome. We both had the sea bass tagine with vegetables, which was a lovely change as I normally have chicken and the fish was beautifully cooked, it melted in your mouth! This was accompanied by barley couscous with seven different vegetables, we were given two portions which would have been enough to feed a family. It was good, so light and fluffy. After eating all this delicious food we were rather full, I opted for the orange salad with orange blossom which was refreshing and a perfect dessert to end the meal with. My husband had the light pastry with caramelised apple, almonds and saffron, this again was a light and tasty dessert which was presented in a very inventive way! The meal overall was superb and faultless. From the service, to the setting, entertainment, food and ambience. If you are celebrating a special occasion or simply want to experience beautiful moroccan cuisine, book a table at Dar Moha.
Quattro is within the Four Seasons Resort in Marrakech on 1 Boulevard de la Menara, you can get a taxi to the restaurant from where you are staying or from Jemaa el Fna square, which we did as we went and did some early evening shopping in the souks beforehand. When you arrive at the Four Seasons the staff will kindly show you the way to Quattro. I had been wanting to visit for awhile after seeing lots of great reviews and pictures online, friends of ours had also ate here and recommended dinner. I pre booked dinner by email, to which I received a quick response and confirmation off the restaurant.
Once seated, I marvelled at the modern setting and open kitchen style theme, I love this idea as you can see everything being cooked and prepared as you eat. Quattro is a good size and the staff are unbelievably attentive, some of the best I have known. Our waiter was wonderful and very insightful, we gained many tips off him about a future trip to Fez to which I am grateful. Well where should I start, the cocktails were A-mazing, I recommend the White Lady!! For food we ordered Orange Salad, which came with black olives, anchovies and fennel, quite delicious and the mixed salad with herbs, edible flowers, truffled ricotta cheese came in a parmesan cheese basket, such a great idea and very tasty indeed.. The main we were recommended to have the pizza with a difference, a sicilian focacce. Which was a flat breaded pizza that was out of this world! I had the gorgonzola, pear, walnuts and a balsamic reduction focacce and Adam had the parma ham, seasonal fruits, goats cheese, shaved parmesan, arugula and balsamic one. We shared each others, well he ate the most actually!! They were light and bursting with flavour, so moreish. Pudding was a must, or dessert I should say, it was only me having it so I picked the semifreddo with caramelised almonds and a spiced chocolate sauce and it was delightful, as like the rest of the meal the presentation was perfect. Quattro is a must whilst in Marrakech, it gives you the chance to see another resort and have a wander around as well as tasting some amazing southern Italian cuisine. The cost of our meal was 1365 DHS, it was worth every penny!
Le Trou Au Mur was the restaurant we ate at on our last evening in the Red City and again it was a recommendation, located at 39 Derb el Farnatchi in the older part of the medina, you can easily walk here. Named the ‘hole in the wall’, if you were wondering what it’s name meant, I was quite excited to see what it had to offer. Again I was not disappointed at all, our waiter was superb informative and friendly he made our evening a real pleasure. We also met the restaurant’s owner James, who was lovely and we had a good chat about Marrakech and why we love it so much. The ambience of Le Trou Au Mur was relaxed and very comfortable, within a modern lux setting, they also have a terrace where you can eat lunch and dinner certainly worth going up to see! We ordered off a menu that had me salivating at the mouth, to start we had tempura vegetables with an assortment of moroccan salads alongside warm breads. We shared the starters and they were delicious. For main I had the mac n cheese with truffle oil, firstly it was enough for three or four people, generous portions! Secondly it was absolutely perfect, just how a mac n cheese should taste and comfort food at it’s best. Adam had the shoulder of lamb which he devoured in no time, I had a taste it was melt in the mouth yumminess. He then helped me finish off my dish!! We enjoyed a bottle of Gris wine with dinner, with is my favourite wine to drink in Marrakech. For dessert we ordered a fresh fruit pastilla that was so light and delicious I could eat it again right now and an assortment of ice creams. Finished off with mint tea and biscuits of course! The bill was 845 DHS and good value for what we ordered and ate. I personally think Le Trou Au Mur will go from strength to strength and if you are serious about food you need to come here. I would most definitely return. And a big thank you for walking us home too!
If you have booked to go to Marrakech or are thinking about a trip note down these wonderful restaurants, as if you enjoy food and eating as much as me, you should definitely try them! Enjoy.
If you want to see more great pictures, or read further blogs by Sam, visit her website www.sostravel.co.uk
Samantha Owen-Stoddart: The girl who loves to travel, sharing her experiences and inspiring others along the way