Review: Le Marrakech

by gigi on January 2, 2008

Juanita, Tricia, and I headed over to Le Marrakech for some Morroccan food one evening. This restaurant had opened fairly recently (in the last year or so, I think) and we had heard rave reviews so we figured it was time to try it out. :) It is located in 52 Alexander St in Gastown.

le marrakech

The inside is quite dim and decorated Morrocan style. We had actually hoped we could sit on the floor on some cushions, but this was not available. :( The tables were also quite low but the seats were of regular height, which made the seating a bit uncomfortable at times.

Most of the dishes are share style, although they could also be eaten individually. We decided to share a few appetizers and entrees. First came a chicken “pie” with orange blossom honey and almonds wrapped in filo. It was then sprinkled with cinnamon and some icing sugar. The filo was light and crispy and the combination of the chicken, almonds, honey, and cinnamon was a tasty and interesting combination.

le marrakech

Next came a combination of three salads. I don’t remember what this one was now but I think it was a creamy tomato-based spread.

le marrakech

Eggplant salad, which turned out to be baba ganoush. This was the best of the three salads. The eggplant was creamy and quite flavourful.

le marrakech

The tomato, cucumber, and mint salad was surprisingly bland. It was difficult to taste the mint flavour.

le marrakech

We were recommended to eat the salads with some Moroccan flat bread. What we got though was more like store-bought whole wheat bread that didn’t have any flavour at all.

Next came a seafood stew with mussels, prawns, scallops, and salmon. For some odd reason, it also came with a grilled meat patty on top. We weren’t too sure what that had to do with seafood stew though. The prawns came whole with the head on, but were extremely small. The meat patty was also pretty odd and didn’t seem to go with the dish at all.

le marrakech

We also ordered a braised short rib with cous cous in a tagine. The cous cous was a bit overcooked and quite mushy. Even though this was supposed to be a short rib, the “ribs” seemed to be more of a beef brisket than anything else! It was quite dry and did not have very much taste.

le marrakech

The three of us had pretty high expectations for Le Marrakech and we were disappointed with our experience here. With the exception of the chicken filo, everything else was lacking in taste and was not cooked very well. I have heard several good reviews from other sources (including websites and newspapers) so I am not sure why our experience differed so much from theirs. When I got home, I looked up Le Marrakech on a couple of websites and people either loved it or hated it. I guess I just happen to fall in the latter camp! The food was also quite expensive for what you get at about $18-25 for an entree.

Details:
52 Alexander St, Vancouver
Tel: 604-688-3714

Summary:
Food: [rating:2]
Service: [rating:3.5]
Price: $$$

Le Marrakech Moroccan Bistro on Urbanspoon

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