Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Le Marrakech (January 4, 2008)

Just me, ts; [no review by js]

I actually made reservations to this restaurant in November. When we arrived, the place seemed to be closed. They had the sign there and everything, but no lights and a locked door. We also saw Cobre across the street and looked, but they also seemed closed. So I thought that perhaps they were closed because of Remembrance Day, but failed to indicate on their computerized reservation system.

Fast forward to January 4. We discovered that they also had an entrance on the NEXT street. Now I doubt myself. Could they have been opened that other time?! But why would they have a restaurant sign at the back if people can't go in through the back door? A mystery. I just hope I wasn't the idiot the last time. ;D

Anyway, their menu is here:

I'll just note down the actual items we ordered.

First of all, I take SERIOUS OBJECTION to the seating!

Basically, the concept is that they have lower tables and, of course, lower chairs. But, our table was against the wall and there was a banquette OF NORMAL HEIGHT against the wall. Meaning, when I sat there, the table only came up to me knees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG -- SOOOOO UNCOMFORTABLE!!!! Imagine eating like that!

Anyway, other notes re ambience: yeah, not bad. There was a belly dancer a little later during the dinner. But, as you know, it's all about the food.

Les Salades De Fez
Zaalouk, oven roasted eggplant+ 3 others (the menu above is not the latest version, I don't think)

I must say, the menu above is not very accurate at all. Maybe except for the eggplant one?

There were 4 little dishes of salad. I think the pricing is a little off on this.

I liked the eggplant dish. Basically it was mashed up. I don't know what the flavours are exactly (you know, being all "exotic" and all), but it was nice. I ate that one, mostly.

Carrot salad: It was OK, didn't particularly care for it.
Celeriac: It was OK, didn't particularly care for it.
The both of them were very underseasoned.

Then there was some sort of radish with some sort of FLOWER flavor. YUCK!

That ROSE TEA incident just came flooding back. I couldn't force myself to eat any of it after the first bite. I don't know if it was rose or something else. My sister said that perhaps it was hibiscus or something, but I don't know. Basically it was VERY flowery. Again, it was like eating potpourri!

Bastilla B’Diala
Marinated then dry aged oxtail, braised with Moroccan spices and dried fruits. Servedon saffron brique pastry

This was pretty good. I mean, it tasted beefy and had nice flavors, etc. I was just disappointed at the "pastry". Basically instead of a bastilla where the filling is inside phyllo, they just had the "pastry" (which was basically a very thin sheet of something similar to phyllo) alternately layered with the filling to make a tower. It was a little hard to eat. That is, just cutting through won't get you a taste of both filling and pastry as they just come apart. So, it was "pretty good," but nothing special.

Bread & Cured Butter
The bread tasted familiar, but it was just bread. Average. It was warmed, though, always a plus. The cured butter was just salty.

Tagine Djaj M’Hammer
Oven roated Cornish hen, house preserved lemons and olives

Not bad/pretty good. I'll leave js to describe it more.

Le Magret De Marrakech
Pan seared duck breast, apricots and pistachios, carrots harrissa sauce

This was pretty good as well. l liked this better than the chicken (or cornish hen, pardon me), but that's just personal preference. The duck had some spices crusted on it. I think there was also some other sauce aside from the carrot harrissa sauce... something FLOWER-y! I avoided it.

We were given some condiments: toasted cumin seeds and salt, and harrissa. The harrissa was good and spicy! It was actually good on the bread.

All in all, it was a decent meal, but more or less average. If we were to return, it would be a while.

Rating = 5-6ish/10

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