Ksar Essaoussan – Marrakech – Morocco
The main fault lies in its name which, in addition to being difficult to remember, promotes the multiplicity of spellings and causes a difficulty to find it directly on Google.
Past this pitfall, we find what is commonly called “a hidden gem”. Lost in the middle of the Medina, it is a maze that must be traveled to plunge into the darkness of this authentic riad.
You are greeted by a waiter in traditional costume without it doing any kitsch or tourist disguise. Then you have to wash your hands and finally sit down to eat.
You can visit the place almost from the cellar to the ceiling and you will notice that it has not been denatured by any random repairs. It is truly in its juice. From the roof, you have a superb view of Marrakech and its Medina.
The owner is a friend of Charles Dumont and one of his records sits on a grand piano which we imagine with dread the chore that was the transport so far.
The menu consists of three menus whose gastronomic is monstrous, even for an ogre like me.
The assortment of Moroccan salads is exceptional, both in its diversity and taste. We really find all these spices that invade your nose during your walks in the souks of Morocco.
There are eight that alternate tomatoes, carrots, eggplant, red beets, etc. Although we all have our preferences, we must recognize that they are all succulent.
The pigeon pastilla is of the same ilk even if a little fat. It should not saturate the stomach for the future. Indeed, couscous is planned!
This one is wu-ith beef while I concede that my preference goes to the lamb. This meat gives a mellow and a more interesting taste to the dish. But it is true that beef will be less fat and will provide a finer broth. But we take the risk of having a more stringy meat.
And since we have some cabbage leaves in the vegetables, we know in advance that the digestion will already be quite laborious!
The harissa is, as it should be, a real condiment with a strong taste without being terribly pungent.
The chicken tajine is a bit disappointing comparatively because, very often in Morocco, the poultry is overcooked and dry. It is quite difficult to prepare well tajine and failure was recurrent in many restaurants during my three weeks throughout Morocco.
Pastilla with milk made on a base of cream thickened with cornflour. Just what to plaster a stomach overflowing.
Perhaps the only stupidity on my part was having already eaten a couscous at noon! I could not completely finish the plates proposed. And it’s a shame because this meal was really excellent.
Local wine list too short. The Cuvée du Président (weird for a Kingdom …) is not the best choice available in Morocco.
So during your next visit to Marrakech, do not hesitate to book one of your evenings for Ksar Essaoussan.
Bill of 110 euros for 2 adults and 1 child. Warning there are no children’s menus.
Date of the visite: 2018 August
Afrique du Nord ,Cadre d'exception ,North-African
Tel: 00 212 524 44 06 32
Addrese: 3 Rue el Ksour, Marrakesh 40000