Dar Marrakech in Stratford serves traditional Moroccan and Lebanese cuisine. The interior is decorated with traditional Middle Eastern drapes and lantern, transporting you to the vibrant oasis of Jemaa El-Fna Square in Marrakech.
Starters consisted of a selection of cold mezze dishes; Zalouk (Aubergines cooked in tomato sauce, garlic and coriander), Humous, Foul Mudamas (broad beans cooked in Lebanese spices), Moroccan Salad and Fettoush (green salad cooked in Lebanese spices). Although the authentic Moroccan/Lebanese flavours were present in each of the mezze dishes, there wasn’t a single dish which could be singled out to be great. The flavours were subtle and although the dishes are intended to be cold, we much prefer the hot mezze selection.
The main course consisted of a Chicken and Vegetable Tagine on a bed of couscous. This particular main is the sharing plate presented in a large Moroccan dish, in keeping with its interior and heritage.
The chicken was pretty dry and borderline bland, lacking any disernable spices. The couscous was simply plain couscous; no spice or buttery flavour coming through. The vegetables on the other hand were flavoursome and almost stew like which was necessary to bring the dish together as the other components were dry.
Below is a sample from their lunch set menu; mince lamb skewers with bread, rice, salad and harira soup (traditional Moroccan lentil soup). The portion was adequate for lunch. The mince skewers were flavoursome, the tomato salsa went well with the rice and the bread was topped with the same salsa thus giving it flavour. The soup unfortunately was watery and bland. We much prefer a thicker consistency with soup.
Below is the half grilled baby chicken. The chicken was grilled well, with the skin lovely and crisp whilst the chicken meat was nice and moist.
The Lamb Kofta Tagine was average. Although the sauce was rich with vibrant flavours, the kofta was dry and lacked authentic Moroccan/Lebanese spices.
Dar Marrakech is a family run business thus service is always faultless. Although some dishes were better than others, the establishment has potential to strive if more attention is given to encompassing truly authentic flavours rather than diluting the flavours to appease a western palate.