51 W Hastings St, Vancouver
Tel: (604) 696-4055
Advice: Belly dancing on Friday and Saturday nights. Reservations suggested.
With it’s focus on Moroccan cuisine, this beautiful eatery features an authentic décor creating a nighttime vibe of the region they draw their inspiration. After a few months since my first visit, the team from Chef Ray through to front of house is in sync; using healthy ingredients with nod to our western palate they are serving up delicious food and drink on the edge of Gastown.
Traditional Moroccan bread served warm with Moroccan olives and olive oil for dipping was a good starter to go with the outstanding White Bean Stew and the Zaalouk Eggplant dip. I had an iced Jasmine tea while Lawrence had an Iced Hibiscus Tea for some Non-Alcoholic refreshment; and this was perfect with the beautiful Barba Orange Beet Salad with orange blossom dressing which comes with the Akawie cheese.
The Vegetable Pastilla was delicious with it’s flaky filo pastry and hints of cinnamon; the Lamb Shank Tajine was served hot to the table having being cooked in the Tajine, not only was the presentation superb, but the meat fell of the bone easily and the flavours were divine from the spices and other ingredients, no oil or butter used in the cooking; the sauce and vegetables were perfect. We also enjoyed the Chicken Tajine, again outstanding presentation and flavours made with preserved lemon, olives and other secret spices.
We both enjoyed the traditional Moroccan Mint Tea to go with the desserts, my favourite was the Date Tart with rose flower preserves which was delicious, followed by the Orange Cheesecake with orange peel preserves; and lastly the rich Chocolate Ganache Cake with preserve figs.
They offer an exciting array of cocktails and wines from the Mediterranean region as well as have locally brewed Kombucha on offer. There is a daily brunch available as well offering sandwiches and other lighter fare. This is a gem worth visiting and if you go on a weekend night you can enjoy some of the Belly Dancing which will surely be entertaining.
Review by: Richard Wolak