Cocktails. Casablanca on the Keys. Authentic Cuisine.
Cookie FM Rating – 4.5/5
There are many wonderful cuisines to explore in Dublin, and in town specifically, we’re rather spoiled with the variety from around the world. Moroccan cuisine is one I’m a big fan of due to their use of spices and vegetables, two factors of food I really love! I was invited to taste Marrakesh by Mindo on one of their newly launched Casablanca Club evenings, during which cocktails are mixed and live piano music is played, inspired by the 1960s movie.
My brother and I came in on a Sunday early evening and were seated in the middle of the restaurant with a great view of the piano corner and the dining room. The soft sounds of the keys with the dimmed lighting, soft furnishings and Moroccan decor added to the atmosphere. As an aperitif, I asked for a surprise cocktail, which resulted in the Raspberry Explosion, a punchy and fruity concoction that combines tequila and raspberry.
Due to it being December, we ordered from their Christmas Dinner menu, which has a great number of traditional starters, main courses, sides and desserts, all of which I wanted to try! After a thorough study, I opted for the Hobiza as my starter and the Mazagan Djaj Tagine to follow; my brother ordered the Merguez Meshwi to start and the Lissan Tagine as his main. We also ordered a 1/2 bottle of Chateau 1804 Vinitro to share.
To start our waitress Anna brought us their Welcome Shiwates Selection, a petite selection of nibbles; Green & Black Olives in Harissa, Mcharmel Carrot Marinated with Atlas Spices, and Grilled Peppers with garlic and olive oil. They were delicious and easily devoured!
Shortly after, our starters arrived alongside toasted Moroccan bread and side salads. The sautéed spinach of Hobiza was really well cooked with complimentary flavours from the Harissa, garlic and parsley, and were perfect with the bread that was crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. As a lover of spinach, I really enjoyed this dish. I also tried the Merguez Meshwi that are spiced lamb sausages, which were also well flavoured.
Next, the main courses arrived, in the always impressive traditional Moroccan Tagine pots alongside two bowls of fresh couscous. The Mazagan Djaj Tagine is a half chicken Tagine dish was cooked in a saffron & green olives sauce, with potatoes, and preserved lemons. The flavours were strong but not overpowering and each of the dish’s elements tasted well with one another. The sauce was delicious, and I could taste it through the chicken – a good sign of a Tagine well infused. Together with the fluffy couscous, this was a greatly satisfying dish. Although I didn’t try the dish, my brother said the Lissan Tagine, made with braised lamb’s tongue, was excellent and that he was very happy with his choice – he’s more brave than I am!
For those of you who may not have had Tagine before, this is a Maghrebi dish named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked, and is used for slow cooking dishes.
We finished our meal with a pair of desserts which we shared. The Chocolate Tart was divine, rich, smooth and made with high quality chocolate. The Mix of Moroccan Sweets was a selection of traditional Moroccan semolina sweets made with dates, cinnamon and blossom flower water with honey. Known for their pastry and sweet fruits, this was a great way to end the flavour journey of Marrakesh by Mindo.
As mentioned, The Casablanca Club is the restaurant’s new initiative that promotes cocktails and music, and so to end our evening we each had another cocktail. This time I opted for a surprise, to which the mixologist served up a delightful combination of passion fruit and rum with a creamy top. My brother had a different too, that I did try and could safely say I’d order too!
Overall, this was such a wonderful experience and I really do recommend you visit Marrakesh by Mindo soon! The staff is the most polite, attentive and very helpful in recommending dishes or drinks to truly enjoy a taste of Morocco in the heart of Dublin One.
Their Casablanca Club evenings are Thursday-Sunday, while their karaoke rooms are for hire from €40 per hour.
TRIED & TESTED
Hobiza (Sauteed Wilted Spinach in Olive Oil, Olives and Preserved Lemon)
Mazagan Meshwi (Spiced Lamb Sausages Chargrilled)
Merguez Meshwi (Half Baby Chicken Slowly Cooked in Saffron and Green Olives Sauce)
Chateau 1804 Vinitro (2016)
Raspberry Explosion cocktail
Marrakesh by Mindo, 121-122 Capel Street, Dublin 1
CALL ON (01) 878 8988 // CLICK TO VISIT Marrakesh by Mindo
Images © Nirina Plunkett
*I did attend as a non-paying guest for this experience, but that does not influence the authenticity of this review.