Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Marrakech, Morocco - La Mamounia (The Food)

La Mamounia has four distinct restaurants: Le Marocain, Le Pavillion de la Piscine, Le Francais and L'Italien by Don Alfonso (the last two are Michelin starred), meaning you are spoiled for choice and going hungry is a nonstarter. I experienced two of them on my recent visit to the property and was truly wowed by both meals.

At La Mamounia's Moroccan restaurant, Le Marocain, I had dinner overlooking the Atlas Mountains whilst being serenaded by live Andalusian music in a breathtaking three floor Riad accessed by a gravel path that cuts through beautiful gardens. Discreet alcoves, sumptuous couches, 'everyone looks divine' candle glow lighting and five star service ensures that you are quite possibly in the most romantic dining spot known to man (certainly in North Africa). 

We started the meal with a light and crisp local rose wine ... 

Various spices and Moroccan argan oil for the homemade bread ... 

The Andalusian musical trio serenading us at our table ... 

Here's what we ate:

Lobster pastilla, red bell pepper coulis and argan oil

Crispy chicken rolls with fresh ginger and honey, mint sorbet with black pepper:

Chicken tagine with olives and lemon preserve ... 

Vegetable cous cous ...

Mamounia mix meat grill with traditional condiments, minted lamb, cumin scented “kefta”, saffron and coriander chicken, and spicy merguez sausage

Stuffed and satisfied, we thoroughly enjoyed both the setting and dining on these wonderful dishes, which really exemplified Moroccan cooking techniques, spices and flavors.

I awoke the next morning (in the comfiest of beds) to the haunting and ethereal pre dawn song of the first call to prayer from the minaret of the local mosque. Not being Muslim, I was afforded the pleasure of a further lay in, but a few hours later the African sunshine streaming through my window beckoned, and I dressed and headed to the pool for breakfast at the Pavillion de la Piscine.

Breakfast at La Mamounia is an extravagance fit for royalty. There is an entire room filled with food; I think I counted ten different stations. I had to do several laps just to take in all the offerings before I could even begin to choose what to sample. This is the breakfast buffet of all breakfast buffets, and the poolside setting in the morning sun is just divine. (They also serve a buffet lunch here, which I hear is equally as fantastic).

Two of my roughly 15 rounds at the buffet: 

My first visit to the African continent was a truly remarkable one. I will never forget the hospitality of the staff at La Mamounia and the truly omni-sensory experience I enjoyed there. 

Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment