A Traditional Moroccan Meal

The next stop on our whirlwind tour of Tangier was lunch at a restaurant that turned out to be surprisingly nice. Once again, I think this experience was created specifically for tourists, because the restaurant itself had normal Western toilets (to my great relief!) and the food, although very tasty, wasn’t all that strange to my inexperienced taste buds. I apologise in advance for the quality of the following photos – I had my camera on the indoor setting and didn’t realise at the time that it would be that sensitive to movement.

As I’ve said before, I’m not a foodie, so while Jodi from Legal Nomads would probably be able to wax lyrical about all the tastes and textures that were to follow, I’m just going to stick with saying it was delicious and I even cleared the crumbs off my plates.

The first course was a spicy but ice cold soup. Not much to look at, and a little weird because we are used to soup being hot. I think there was cinnamon in there, which I love, so cold or not I slurped it all up and was sorry when it was finished.

Next up was two skewered kebabs of what I think was mutton. We were a little disappointed at first, thinking that this was the main course (hey, it came straight after the starter, what were we supposed to think?) and nibbled on it for quite some time wondering if it would be enough to keep the hunger at bay for the rest of the day.

But, much to our delight, the main course turned out to be chicken with couscous and spicy but sweet vegetables. This was the first time I’ve tries couscous and I absolutely loved it! So much so that it is now a regular item on my shopping list back home. I’m not sure what the vegetables were – there was definitely some cinnamon pumpkin in there (delicious!), but the rest was unfamiliar. I enjoyed it so much in fact, that I completely missed the short performance by the belly dancer who apparently jiggled around the tables for a few minutes while I was oblivious to everything but the delightful meal in front of me.

Dessert followed soon after and consisted of crunchy syrupy-sweet cakes that reminded a lot of South African koeksisters, along with a glass of steaming hot mint tea. The tea is probably an acquired taste and Gareth and I both thought it was absolutely dreadful. We each had a bottle of Coke as well, which although branded in Arabic, tasted just like it does back home and was more than enough to quench our thirst.

If you watch the short 29 second clip below you’ll hear the band playing some traditional Moroccan music, which they kept up throughout the course of the meal, and see a little bit of the décor of the restaurant.

All in all, we had a great time and were looking forward to the next stop, which was to be a Moroccan carpet shop…

For more posts in the Spain 2010 series, click here.

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