Moroccan Night

Marakeesh is one more of Viral Thakker's exotic recommendations.It's a restaurant that specialises in Moroccan cuisine.Morocco lies in Africa,quite close to Spain.Food here has lot of spices and fruits.
The restaurant had a large tent and several lamps.The tables were low set.The bar looked like a gold and glass display. We started our meal by washing our hands,a tradition that has Jewish roots.

Every Moroccan meal has bread.Ours was fennel spiced,warm and soft.Few can resist the aroma of freshly baked bread! In Morocco,bread is used as a utensil for a meal.

The Harira Soup was a heartening thick lentil soup with garbanzo beans,tomato and garlic.We were given lemon wedges to squeeze on top and had to drink it off the bowl.Very nourishing! Did remind me of Masoor Dal at home.

The salads were next.A plate of marinated eggplant, chopped tomato-cucumber and spiced carrots

Next was the Bastilla,a wafer thin pastry filled with chicken,eggs,almonds and cinnamon topped with powdered sugar which the chef had artistically designed into a camel for nonvegetarians
It had a dry texture. The seafood bastilla on the other hand is moist as it has fish,calamari and shrimp alongwith a sauce.

The vegetarian Bastilla had a palm tree design.It contained rice and raisins.

The Harissa is the Moroccan Hot Sauce that has garlic,chillies,olive oil and salt to pep up a dish.

Their Couscous or cracked wheat was the best I have was moist and accompanied by a lot of vegetables.

There were Shrimp Kabobs and Chicken Kabobs that were lightly spiced and grilled for nonvegetarians,the aroma was overpowering! Reminded you of campfires in the desert.

For the main course I had Roast Lamb with Honey Sauce.It had been slowly cooked in a dish with a conical cover called the Tagine.When the steward opened the cover,it smelt so heavenly and looked so attractive that I knew I had made the right choice!

The lamb dish had prunes and raisins.The meat was succulent and so tender that it fell off the bone easily.It was a dish that had sweet overtones but I loved it.
Morocco has deserts as well as areas with orchards which yield apricots,figs and dates.These therefore find a place in Moroccan cuisine giving it an unusual flavor
The other options for the main course were Lemon Chicken,Baked Rabbit,Grilled Quail or fish and Duck.

Moroccan food is to be enjoyed slowly.It's a great place to go with friends.They also have bellydancing.The bellydancer was pleasant and patient.She taught the steps to willing guests in a lucid manner.

Our steward was a sweet chap.At the end of the meal he poured mint tea from a kettle with a curved spout unto our glasses from quite a height.This is done to produce bubbles which Moroccans love.

It was refreshing!

Then they served us Baklava which was dusted with powdered sugar.A lovely ending to a lovely evening.Great ambience,unusual and delicious food,superb service.....Marrakesh inspires a trip to Morocco!

1976 Newport Blvd
Costa Mesa
CA 92627


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