Marakesh Marakesh

Moroccan restaurants, especially good ones, are thin on the ground in Abu Dhabi Reviews

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Moroccan restaurants, especially good ones, are thin on the ground in Abu Dhabi. Marakesh has the fortunate position of being one of the few decent Moroccan establishments in the capital, and it wears its crown proudly.

The interior is pink and palatial, with banquettes lining the back wall and tables around the dance floor, which plays host to a belly dancer come 10.30pm.

The chicken bastilla is a suitably unusual and back-to-front place to start; the sweet pastry case for the chicken and dusting of icing sugar making it seem more dessert-like – but it’s interesting nonetheless. The Moroccan vegetable soup is a simpler affair: a warming chunky broth with a whisper of sweetness and scented with coriander.

There is no shortage of that Moroccan staple, tagine; the pick of which is the lamb with dates and pearl onions simmered in a date and honey sauce. The fish is lighter, with two succulent hammour fillets bathed in a lemony, tangy jus.

Morocco does sweet very well, but with giant portions like these, it may be a struggle to take on the pudding menu. A plate of pastries is the least challenging option if you can, and provides more crumbly sweetness, which you can wash down with mint leaf tea before staggering to the door. Marakesh still sets the standard in the capital for an impressively authentic taste of Morocco in an opulent, dramatic setting.

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 614 6020
  • Travel: Khalifa Bin Zayed Street
  • Website | Send mail

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Marakesh On The Map

User reviews

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DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Romantic

User reviews:

Posted by: JP on 21 Mar ' 15 at 07:33
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Edited by TimeOutAbuDhabi.com

Just alone ... Following Time-out recommandations I went to Marakesh on a Thursday night expecting good food and lively ambience as it was the begining otf the w-e I came to the restaurant around 8;00 expecting to find it certainly not crowded but at least with a few guests and a show going on. Expectations were on a moroccan band and even belly dancer in a lively and friendly atmosphere What a desilusion!! During all my stay in the restaurant I was absolutely alone and even though I had to fight for getting a table not located behind a pilar in a remote part of the restaurant. How could you sit your one and only guest in such a narrow remote location! After being sitted in a better place with a decent view on the central part of the restaurant where the band was supposed to play I found it totally empty: not a single musician and of course absolutely no belly dancer in sightWhen I asked what happened I was very politely told the show is only starting at 11:30 !! That was not mentioned in the Time-out review Food was ok and served in large portion although the couscous was quite far from what you usually get in good maroccan restaurants in other part of the world. Quantity was there but not the flavors and the taste. When I ordered drinks by the glass I was told that my selection was not available (it could happen) but also that half of the selection of the wine list was not avilable either (this is more dificult to understand) Eventually the price was quite high considering the average quality of tehe couscous, the total lack of ambience and the very limited wine list In conclusion if you stil decide to go there bring: 1- your friends 2- your musicians 3- your drinks 4- perharps even your own belly dancer or better don't go I'm still wondering how this restaurant has been recommended by Time-Out??

Posted by: JEanine on 30 Oct ' 11 at 14:52
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

as an fyi, this is not the city's only moroccan restaurant... while the decor is nice, the food and bellydancing for that matter are far from the mark when it comes to morrocan food.
Meknes has better tagines and couscous, plus a great moroccan breakfast menu.
maybe I'm just picky from having the real thing, but the ambience was nice, but shouldn't have to compensate for the authenticity of the food.

Posted by: T Suthro Rassdeen on 18 Oct ' 10 at 14:28
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: T Suthro Rassdeen on 18 Oct ' 10 at 14:28
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: T Suthro Rassdeen on 18 Oct ' 10 at 14:28
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: T Suthro Rassdeen on 18 Oct ' 10 at 14:28
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Tom on 03 Feb ' 10 at 16:33
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

This place was amazing. We showed early for the Tuesday night buffet and had the whole fresh line to ourselves for almost an hour before anyone else showed up. The reasonably priced meal came with free beer or wine and offered a mind-blowing array of meals. All of the chicken and lamb dishes were spectacular, but the chicken pastilles and the lamb with prunes and almonds stood out. The waitstaff was quick and helpful and the setting was just transformative. The only two lacking points were that the two seafood dishes were terrible (fried hammour and grilled shrimp) and the dessert bar was flavorless and not worth eating.

Posted by: Jo on 06 May ' 09 at 06:27

would really help if Time out displayed the correct number - GRRRRRRR

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