Marrakesh Ave

Marrakesh Ave is a Moroccan restaurant on Princes Avenue. For me, it’s always been one of those places I was intrigued by as I walked past. A couple of weeks ago I finally bit the bullet and took one of my friends there for her birthday.

There were problems from the start – we turned up at the date & time we’d booked to find that the restaurant hadn’t reopened as planned, the refurbishments they’d been doing had overrun! The owner apologised & offered us a free bottle of wine for when we rebooked.

Upon our return on Tuesday of the next week, things went smoothly. The front room of the restaurant (it was a bitterly cold day, so we didn’t see the ‘secret garden’ at the back) has cushioned seats along the walls, with chairs on the other side of the tables. It poses something of a dilemma if there’s two of you – do you go for both being comfortable, or sit opposite each other to make conversation easier? Opting for the latter, I was annoyed to find that there was a a slight draft from the front door which I was sat near.

The service was excellent – our waitress friendly and chatty throughout, and didn’t object when (on a limited budget) we wanted to share both a starter and dessert rather than buying one each. The food was served quickly, but it wasn’t mind blowing; the starter was probably the highlight: we had humus and olives with bread, which while simple was still extremely tasty. For the main, we went for the ‘Marrakesh platter’, consisting of skewered lamb, chicken, and vegetables with salad, garlic yogurt and chilli sauce. There was more than enough to fill the two of us up, but on the other hand it became somewhat repetitive!

For dessert we shared a portion of Baklava. While it was very tasty, it was also quite difficult to eat – very tough, and bits tended to fly everywhere if you attempted to hack off a bit. The waitress had said it was the last piece so in hindsight it may have been there some time.

The bill came to £40, which is really quite pricey for one starter, one dessert, and a main course designed to be shared between two. Count in the fact that our wine came free and you could easily add substantially to that bill even if there’s only two of you. Overall, the excellent service and nice atmosphere at this place doesn’t make up for the expense. 5/10

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