Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Marrakesh Delight

Forty days ago, the REAL “first Moroccan restaurant” opened in the Alia/Galia Towers in Mahboula, next door to the Starbucks, and across the street from Al Noukhaza, Sakura, CinnaMonster, Ruby Tuesday’s etc.

00marrakeshexterior.jpg

The entrance is warm and welcoming. The Marrakesh may not be well advertised, but it is certainly not undiscovered, and if you want to get a table, you will want to reserve, or to get there early. It deserves the crowds.

The decor is lush, with large mashrabiyya screens between spacious saltillo-tiled areas. Heavy tablecloths, Moroccan tableware, plush banquettes and attentive service are all side orders to the exquisite main dishes – the tajines – coming out of the kitchen. By 8:30 on a weeknight, almost every table is filled and people are waiting in the entry for seating.

First dining room:
00diningroom.jpg

Decor:
00meshdecor.jpg

Private dining cabinets:
00privatecabinets.jpg

Starters:
00starters.jpg

Couscous Barbarian:
00couscousbarbarian.jpg

Lamb Tajine with Plums:
00lambtajineplums.jpg

We really liked it that they played Moroccan music, that the primary wait staff were Moroccan, and that the food was really, REALLY good. Each starter had an individual and lightly spiced flavor, the couscous was rich and light, and the lamb tajine with plums was tender, sweet and heavenly. The tea was hot and our etched glass cups frequently refilled, and an irresistable plate of sweets arrived just when we thought none of us could eat another bite.

The table waiters were supplemented by kitchen staff delivering the meals hot and covered in the traditional tajines, and there are three separate richly decorated dining areas (one we think is just for men), AND the private cabinets in the back. We intend to go back often – it’s that good.

TELEPHONE: 3715333

Update: When I called for reservations, no one answered. When I went by in person to make reservations, I was told that the management has informed the staff that they have a “no reservations” policy, and you just have to show up and hope to get seated.

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January 29, 2008 - Posted by | Customer Service, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Morocco

22 Comments »

  1. Hey, thanks for the review. I live next door to that place and wanted to know what it looked like inside… without having to go in, see it’s crap, and come back out again.

    Can’t wait to try it.

    Comment by moocherx | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  2. Yum yum!!

    Thanks for the review

    Comment by MiYaFuSHi | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  3. yummy yumm..looks delicious :D can I have a bite?

    Comment by Amu | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  4. damn hehe i used to live in that building in the 90′s and there were no restraunts in it or shops, except an internet cafe lol now it’s full of places!

    the food looks yummmy *drool* the only moroccan rest. I’ve been too is in London which was owned by a friends aunt and the food was AMAAAZING and served in the tagine dishes too

    Comment by ananyah | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  5. Moocherx – I am so happy to see you! Will you start blogging again? I often wonder how your doggies are doing?

    It is BEAUTIFUL inside. Someone went to a lot of trouble to get the details right. Now, one caveat. A friend who also lives nearby told me that the service is sometimes iffy – they have their good nights and bad nights, and clearly we had a good night. I would say don’t go in a hurry, go when you have time and want to enjoy the experience. The mashribiyya just knocked my socks off.

    MiYaFuSHi – See you there! It IS Yum yum!

    Amu – I think you’ll like it! Every single thing we ordered – and we had like six starters, and then main courses between all at the table – every single thing was delicious.

    Ananyah – NO kidding?? I remember just over two years ago, the Gulf Road going south to Fehaheel was kind of nothing. There was an Applebees and a Pizza Hut (sorry, but GAG!) but you lived nearby in the 90′s?? Just after the invasion and liberation? Wow, I bet you have some stories to tell.

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  6. Am not into this kind of food, I don’t like the Couscous but i love the soup!

    Comment by ::: ShoSho ::: | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  7. They had good Addas, ShoSho, if you like that.

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  8. Looks lovely, but unfortunatly Mahboula is too far for us =s

    Comment by kaileena | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  9. [...] took me to what turned out to be a five star, no holds barred Moroccan restaurant in Fehaheel (see my aunt’s post for a full review). I didn’t even order a tajine – I wanted to try the entrees, and they were [...]

    Pingback by Back to Beirut « A Diamond’s Eye View of the World | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  10. Thanks for the review :-)
    Very nice photos as well

    Comment by jewaira | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  11. Kaileena :-) Sometimes Mahboula is too far for us, too. We like taking a drive now and then, though, and like exploring new places.

    Oh Little Diamond, come back! come back!

    Thanks, Jewaira. It is very romantic Jewaira’s Boudoir kind of place.

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 30, 2008 | Reply

  12. that does look good, although am not a big fan of moroccan food… tried kuskus once and didnt like it.. i have a feeling this place will change my opinion of it… shud try it out soon.

    Comment by Fonzy | January 31, 2008 | Reply

  13. Have a lamb or fish tajine with rice, Fonz. Try some of the starters. The tastes are different, but also fresh and just different enough to make you go “Ah!” I’m just a sucker for the romantic mashrabiyya look.

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 31, 2008 | Reply

  14. The concept of private dining cabinets is Maha-interesting. I’ll say we need to get the Real ” First Indian restaurant” here that does authentic Indian vegetarian fare.Bon appetit!

    Comment by We, the homoAsexuals | January 31, 2008 | Reply

  15. BL, isn’t there an all-Veg Indian restaurant down in Mubarakiyya? The Green Land, or something like that?

    Qatar has several Indian restaurants with different sections, even separate kitchens, to handle the meat vs non-meat issue – there isn’t one in Kuwait?

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 1, 2008 | Reply

  16. hahhaa yah, up til 99 I lived there. I loved living in the building until I grew into a buxom teenager and hung out at the pool and got stalked by the millions of guys going to the internet cafe there and the bowling alley in the basement lol. Fun times! But yes, there were no shops or anything there. There used to be a facial place owned by my moms friend but then soon closed down, then a travel place but closed down. The longest running thing was Ant Internet Cafe hahah but I think that’s dead by now! I owner was nice though, his son was a freaky stalker whom I nicknamed DUCK!

    Comment by ananyah | February 4, 2008 | Reply

  17. Oh Ananyah, I totally understand. I am no longer a buxom teenager, but even I have had to stop using the swimming pools; it’s like being a little antelope surrounded by ravenous lions around here.

    Have you visited Kuwait recently? You would be astonished at the changes. You wouldn’t recognize the Kuwait of the 90′s – the changes are shocking!

    Was the building you lived in damaged during the invasion and liberation?

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 4, 2008 | Reply

  18. Sounds intriguing, does anyone have their telephone number?

    Comment by Agja | February 10, 2008 | Reply

  19. Look really good, yummy!!!

    You’re invited to my blog for some Moroccan yummies

    http://www.andaluss.wordpress.com don’t forget to leave me

    any comments, I ll appreciate it:)

    Comment by lovefrom1stbite | August 31, 2008 | Reply

  20. I love your blog, 1st bite! Warning to all people who are fasting: do not visit this blog during fasting hours!

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 1, 2008 | Reply

  21. hii…want to know is there any branch of marrakesh in kuwait?since this one has closed down.im really missing it…!

    Comment by jumana | February 8, 2012 | Reply

  22. Jumana, I don’t believe there is any branch of the Marrakesh, but there is a Moroccan restaurant at The Palms hotel, and one down on first circle.

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 8, 2012 | Reply


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