Le Rouget de l’Isle – Casablanca – Maroc
Sacrilège ! ou pas...
- Taki Kabbaj
In 2017, I promised myself I would take a complete tour of Le Rouget de l’Isle, one of Casablanca’s chic restaurants. At this time, I had only had one drink (and visited the kitchens!) on the balcony overlooking the superb terrace and garden of this villa in the beautiful Casablanca districts, transformed into a restaurant by Taki Kabbaj, its owner and chef.
The chef welcomes us very kindly (but doesn’t know who I was, so no special treatment).
The menu is a little disturbed because the restaurant was closed during Eid El Kebir and the restart was not easy because of the suppliers who do not follow the pace. We will therefore easily forgive the few defections of dishes.
The chef is undoubtedly a good kitchen professional, but something that is not very pleasant when you are a customer and comes to a restaurant to have a good time is to have someone who, your buttocks barely sitting on the chair, unpacks all his dishes at lightning speed in detail of the elements and the preparation.
For me, who am from the job, I am able to follows. I can’t imagine the average customer not retaining more than 10% of the verbal logorrhoea that has just been struck. So, if you don’t make the server repeat everything, you’ll fall back on the menu in search of a little peace of mind.
This one is interesting and shows a good mix of know-how, classic and local cuisine.
I am quite intrigued by the snail casserole with Ricard, a product that requires good control not to destroy a dish very quickly if the dosage is wrong. To top it off, it is served with a few slices of fennel. The result is well balanced, the snails soft. A nice little entrance.
The fish tartar is very good. Maybe we can say that the raspberry dosage is a little strong.
The main course is a desire to combine hot and cold between a risotto and a tuna tartar. The rice is perfectly cooked, generous in its proportions. The dish is good without being revolutionary. To be eaten quickly to avoid the beginning of cooking of the fish.
The next dish is a plate of shells (regressive!) cooked like risotto and served with monkfish. I didn’t see the smoked duck described on the menu and the monkfish would have deserved a big minute less cooking time. But the shells are really delicious with this cooking. The whole is well spiced up with a few small cloves of garlic in shirt and carrots in brunoise.
I can hardly resist a soufflé. I chose the caramel one because I made hundreds of them with Grand-Marnier during my CAP at Joséphine-Chez Dumonet!
Original because it is served on a plate and not in a ramekin. Some will scream sacrilege, but what makes a soufflé is the device and it swells!
The only concern is related to the volume of the object. Indeed, to be cooked on a plate, the appliance is placed in the shape of a ball and not a cylinder. When it swells, the central part will, therefore, be harder to reach by the maximum heat and therefore less likely to cook. This results in the dish so the crust is superbly baked but the centre may deserve an extra minute. But this is impossible because it would lead to a surface that is too hard and burnt.
We, therefore, understand that the tradition of the ramekin has a rational logic. This does not prevent you from enjoying a quality dessert. But those who are a little repulsed by the texture of the just-cooked egg white are warned.
The staff is very efficient and knows their wine list well and offered us an excellent Terres blanches that perfectly matched our range of dishes.
In conclusion, the Rouget de l’Isle undoubtedly deserves to be categorized as one of the most beautiful tables in Casablanca, both in terms of the setting and the plate. We can always challenge some of the chief’s choices, but as his name suggests, he is the chief! And the result is of high quality.
Bill of 130 euros for two so quite reasonable for the work and products provided.
Tel: 00 212 5222 94740
Addrese: 16, rue Rouget de l'Isle - Villa Elise -، Casablanca, Maroc