How much fun it is to try new foods in an exotic setting! Especially when all you have to do to enjoy it all is go down the block in Netanya.
Marrakesh restaurant is located in the attractive round building on David Hamelech Street, just a block from the Histadrut center and right off the promenade. Stepping inside the restaurant is like traveling abroad, without a passport.
First the unique decor: Marrakesh is an exotic and colorful restaurant. The unique and highly stylized décor contributes to the fun of this dining experience. Puffs of draped fabric on the ceiling and windows in this circular restaurant create a tent-like atmosphere. A wooden valance around the restaurant above the windows suggests the lace insert in the women's Burqa. All the details, including the colorful ceramic Tagines on each table and the fine embroidered tablecloths contribute to the exotic feel of the restaurant. To fully appreciate the whole effect you must stop at the Netilat Yadayim stand and the rest rooms, all done in authentic Moroccan style.
The menu, which is nicely presented in three languages (Hebrew, English and French) offers a combination of Moroccan style dishes and grilled meat and fish. It is fun to mix and match the different styles of food.
You can start your meal with salads, but we were warned that the salads are quite spicy, so venture in this direction at your own risk. There are also the traditional Moroccan hors d'oeuvres such as pastelles and cigars. Moroccan-style main dishes include the exotic beef and mushrooms, stuffed artichoke, lamb cooked with either dried fruit or onions, which is the specialty dish. The basic Moroccan meat ball is quite spicy, but it is balanced with a baked potato. The less adventuresome can skip right over these offerings and enjoy grilled meat or fish (ranging from NIS 50 to NIS 80 per portion).
Whichever way your tastes run, you absolutely must have the couscous, which is a real Moroccan delicacy and is out of this world at this restaurant. The couscous is prepared the traditional Moroccan way. The semolina is cooked in a double boiler for hours till it is light and fluffy. The vegetables are cooked separately. The dish is served at the table in a colorful ceramic Tagine. A bowl of sauce, which can be added to taste, is served in a separate dish. I liked the couscous without the sauce but everyone else agreed that it adds to the flavor of the dish. Couscous is usually served with meat, but it is available as a vegetarian dish (the only non-meat dish at this restaurant).
You don't have to be an adventuresome diner to try Moroccan desserts. These specialty sweets round off a meal just right. Moroccan desserts are usually either fruit based or are made with a lot of nuts and sugar. We tried two different kinds of Moroccan style cookies. One was a sugary dough filled with whole nuts and the other was made with ground nuts. Both were exotic and delicious. But they didn't compare to a fruit “jam” another Moroccan specialty. The jam – which is not spread but is eaten with a fork from the bowl - contained pieces of sweet fruit in a jelly-like sauce. I was surprised to learn that the fruit was watermelon rind, which changed my whole outlook on what you can do with the parts of fruit that we generally discard. Absolutely delicious.
Marrakesh can seat about 150 people. It is a great location for a simcha. When the restaurant hosts private events it is closed to the public so it is best to call in advance and reserve places. Take-Away is also available.
Marrakesh Lunch Menu. Note that the discount coupon does not apply to the lunch menu.