Thursday, 28 May 2015

Insiders Guide VI: Update on Restaurants in Marrakech

The next best thing of eating food is to write about it and here we are, four months into our new life in Morocco, and of course we have discovered a lot of new favourite restaurants and hot spots that we would like to share with you. So here is an addition to our previous blog post on favourite restaurants. For our previous list on where to eat, check out the blog post Insiders Guide II. As always you find ALL our best tips on restaurants, bars, spa:s, hotels and shopping in the Insiders Guide section of this blog. And in the end of this post you get our current top-10-list!

Magnificant Royal Mansour

In Marrakech you find a very happening and vibrant restaurant scene with a lot of different options. The interior design and ambience are often breathtaking but the quality of the food can be both amazing as well as disapointing. What was a great dining experience one week can turn out to be a disaster a week later, this is due to a lot of rotation of the good chefs in town. As a friend said, you can guarantee the design and service of place but never the quality of the food. We were not very impressed with the food at Grand Café de la Poste when we came here but during our recent visits the food has been great, let's see how long that lasts.

Royal Mansour
Oh yes, it is posh. Very posh. And expensive. Very very expensive. But we are totally seduced by this palace out of 1001 nights, filled with magic and impressive craftsmanship. Royal Manaour is the latest addition to the super luxury hotel scene of Marrakech. It is, like La Mamounia, owned by the King and very upscale. Royal Mansour has a beautiful spa (see previous blog post), amazing suites and two restaurants: the Moroccan and the International restaurants. We prefer the International restaurant of Royal Mansour, the food is excellent and the ambience to die for. To give you an idea about the price level a bottle of still water is 10 Euros and a main course around 45 Euros. However, right now they have a three course set menue for just 65 Euros, which is great value for money.

The gate to Royal Mansour

Outside the international restaurant of Royal Mansour

ILimoni
ILimoni is in our opinion the best Italian restaurant in town. We have been here many times and both the pasta and deserts are like in Italy (and we love Italy). You dine under the citrus trees in the lush courtyard, the staff and owner are very friendly and attentive. Also open for lunch with a nice roof terrace as well. This is a new favorite spot that we can highly recomend. 

ILimoni

Riad Nashira
Riad Nashira is operated by the same team that also runs Café Arabe and Hamam de la rose. Riad Nashira also has an Italian touch and the menue contains both Moroccan and Italian dishes. The food is very good and the ambience modern and lounge-like. Open for non residents both for lunch and dinner.

Riad Nashira

Namazake, at the Pearl
Located on the roof top terrace of hotel the Pearl in Hivernage you find the Japanese restaurant Namazake. If you fell like sushi or modern Japanese food this is a good spot. The views are amazing, the music and lounge ambience is very international and the food is good. You can also come here to hang out for a cocktail, go for a swim in the pool and enjoy the views (both of the guests and the medina)

Namazake, Japanese food on the roof top of the Pearl hotel

Latitude 31
Latitide31 is an outdoor restaurant in the medina (no indoor seating). The kitchen is very ambitious and the food excellent, fine dining level for a very good price. Very nice ambience and DJ:s playing lounge music. Perfect for a nice lunch or dinner. The only downside is that they don't serve wine, we cross our fingers that they will receive the permits for this shortly since the food here truly deserves some good wine as company.

Latitude 31

La Table du Palais
La Table du Palais is the restaurant of Palais Riad Lamrani, set in a beautiful, lush and traditional palace garden this is the perfect place for a long lunch (not open for dinner and closed Sundays). They serve an excellent three course lunch and have very friendly and attentive staff. We keep coming back to this favourite place. Ambitious kitchen serving French and Moroccan food with a modern twist.

La Table du Palais, the restaurant of Palais Lamrani

Pop-Ups
We are super happy to notice that several pop up restaurants start to pop-up in Marrakech. Famous and not so famous international chefs teaming up with local restaurants and creating pop up events for a couple of nights or weeks. This brings even more energy to the already vibrant restaurant scene. We have been to both some good and some bad ones. A couple of weeks ago Paris Pop-Up took over the roof top terrace of Restaurant Nomad and presented an amazing menue and great cocktails, one of the best menues we had here actually. If you are visiting Marrakech, make sure to google for which events and pop-ups that might be taking place during your visit!

Paris Pop Up at Nomad in May

And the jumbo price for lousy service goes to...
As mentioned in the beginning, the quality of food and service at a venue can change quickly here in Marrakech. We have always loved Bo Zin for the ambience and cool vibe and also promoted it as one of the coolest places to go in this blog. We still love the ambience, DJ:s and the vibe of Bo Zin but we unfortunatley need to add some negative comments to all our previous praise. The food is good but the service has gone from good (2 years ago), to bad (1 year ago) to lousy (this spring). It is obvious the logistics and staff management is not working anymore. It took 30 minutes from getting menues to placing order (after asking to do so 3 times), missed drink orders, un-coordinated and non existing service from staff etc. We will still go here for the outdoor bar and music but don't expect good service... Hopefully they will get this under control shortly.

Our top-10-list (June-15):
1) Gastro MK at maison MK
2) Royal Mansour, the international restaurant 
3) Dar Zellij
4) Grand Café de la Poste 
5) Table du Palais
6) I Limoni
7) La Maison Arabe
8) Amaia Restaurant
9) La Sultana
10) Latitude31

And of course we have to mention our own kitchen here at Riad Arabe where we have our excellent cook Rachida who constantly keep surprising us with new dishes, some from secret family recepies and some from recepies she finds on Internet. 

Tonight we are dining at home in our own riad and Rachida is preparing some surprise for us
Bon Apetit!
P&P