I went travelling from 18 Nov – 18 Dec. I’m now blogging about some of the places I went to… posts are not written in chronological order.
To be honest, I didn’t immediately like Morocco. When we got off the ferry, I missed Spain immediately, and a public toilet we used made my heart beat so fast I thought it might fall out. So it is that by nightfall on 23 November, I had started to prepare myself for a less than splendid dinner. I know this is totally rude and unfair, but it’s the truth. This was especially the case because the tour bus let us off a short distance away from the restaurant, and the alleyways we walked past were deserted and appetite-killing (to a pessimistic me, anyway)…
So it is that I was completely shocked and delighted by the dinner we did have at the end of our little walk. Actually, I felt a little teary-eyed.
It was, in short, magical.
This place was beautiful. I remember standing in one spot and rotating, slowly, drinking in the details – willowy trees, soft music, dim lights, pretty tables and chairs. The owner of the place and the waiters stood attentively, smilingly, ready to offer us either the room upstairs or the patio… of course we chose the patio. The weather and sky were perfect. All of us were gasping and exclaiming. I think they must get this a lot, for they just beamed patiently.
We started with some herb-infused bread and a spiced, flavourful harira (squeezed tomato soup). Few of us could resist a double helping of this… it tasted of herbs, spices and something less tangible – something I could only describe as carefully crafted to coat the tongue with pleasure.
For the main – a tagine of saffron chicken with tangy lemon and olives. The chicken was gently tender, nicely complemented by the olives and lemon – at once sweet and sour, but in subtle amounts. Again, my tongue could only smile without knowing how to describe what it was tasting. The whole time, we enjoyed glasses of good red wine.
Finally, we had something akin to crispy thin pancakes with milk, nutmeg, honey and cinnamon, topped with what I have just realised was pomegranate. Really, really nice. Freshly made, with a great texture and combination of sweetness and spice.
At the end of our meal, we were offered mint tea avec ou sans sucre… I love this refreshing minty drink without sugar. It slips down your throat like a warm sherbet of ice!
It hardly needs to be said, but this was what I needed to change my mind about Morocco – and glad I am that we had this dinner, for I was in superb spirits the next day – enough to really enjoy the Medina in Fes. :-)
Shéhérazade – 23, Arsat Bennis Douh Fès Médina, Maroc – Phone: +212 535 74 16 42