When you visit Marrakech the one thing you will never run short of is new or different restaurants to try and eat in. Each time I go I like to try new places as well as some firm favourites. On my recent travels to Marrakech I dined at Bo Zin and Ling Ling for the first time, as my last visit to Ling Ling was to attend their amazing opening party last September. I returned to Nomad and my all time favourite Pepe Nero.
Bo Zin was recommended to us by a friend, it is located on the Route de l’ Ourika and is a short taxi ride from Jemaa El Fna square. Bo Zin on first impression has a real underrated style about it, as you enter it exudes luxury. The restaurant itself is spread out into numerous sections, there is a spacious outdoor area for summertime and a bar with a beautiful roaring fire to enjoy a pre or after dinner drink. It is high end with comfort! A DJ plays on the decks and for a Thursday evening it was very busy indeed. We peruse the menu with great interest, it is not a huge menu with pages and pages of options, which I prefer. With 5 to 6 choices of starters, mains and desserts there is something for everyone on the menu. We chose the 12 Thai style fish croquettes to share for starters with assorted dipping sauces, they were tasty and very filling indeed. You can order a few of the starters in certain quantities, which is great if you want to share. For main I ordered the Thai sliced beef with a tamarind and coconut sauce served with sautéed potatoes, it was a generous portion of beef that was delicious and melted in your mouth. My partner went for the Slow roasted lamb ‘mechoui style’ with mushrooms and mashed potato, he throughly enjoyed it. We were very full and decided to share a dessert which was the Hot chocolate cake bo zin with pistachio ice cream, it was a dream! Definitely enough for two people. The overall service and presentation was to a very high standard. I was particularly taken by the napkins given, they are tiny and come in a wooden tray with water, you drop them in the water tray and they expand then you unfold and use, a great idea!! Drink wise we drank Rose Royale, an alternative to the traditional Kir Royale, instead a rose liquor is added to the champagne. It was a nice change! My husband opted for the Casablanca beer. After our meal we enjoyed some gin and tonic’ at the bar beside the fire, taking in the atmosphere and beautiful surroundings.
Bo Zin is also in Dubai and Ibiza, the ‘Drinking and Fooding’ idea is a winner, as it creates a casual yet elegant feel. I would like to return in summertime to experience the outdoor dining and enjoy the sounds on offer. The aim of Bo Zin is to create “A unique dreamlike atmosphere where everything is prepared with great attention to detail and where taste, elegance and sobriety fasters contemplation and refreshes the spirit” I would say they have accomplished it.
Ling Ling is the sister of Hakkasan restaurants, it is located inside the Mandarin Oriental Hotel which is by the Route Du Golf. Other Ling Ling restaurants are in Oslo and Mykonos. The idea of Ling Ling has been inspired by a popular Eastern concept called ‘Izakaya’, whereby the food is served to accompany the drinks and not the other way around. Ling Ling in Marrakech has “drinking, dancing and dining at the forefront, as it bends the Hakkasan DNA to create a restaurant and bar experience that reflects and complements the beautiful Moroccan environment”. The only word I can use to describe Ling Ling is ‘Cool’. I utterly love the area it inhabits, as you can see every aspect has been throughly thought through and it works so well.
As I was here for the opening event last year, I was desperate to return to sample the food and enjoy the delightful cocktails on offer. We arrived early and had a cocktail, a Basilcello for me and the Coupette No 10 for my partner. The bar staff were lovely and exceptional in their cocktail making skills. After awhile we were guided into dinner, which is a nice change as in some restaurants you can feel rushed. The one thing I like about the inside dining area is that you can see into the kitchen and watch the chefs preparing the dishes. There is plenty seating inside and out at Ling Ling, all arranged in a casual yet classy style. We decided to order the ‘Ling Ling Experience’ this is for two persons and includes Supreme Dim Sum platter with Vegetarian black truffle roll to start. This was delightful and was very generous in size. Followed by Rib Eye beef skewer with a black pepper sauce, Satay chicken with Egg fried rice, which was full of flavour and delicious. Dessert was as they say the ‘piece de resistance’ a Hazelnut and milk chocolate parfait, that came with a hot sauce to pour over the parfait. It was amazing! We drank a Moroccan Rose wine with our food and finished off our evening with more cocktails at the bar, the Lemongrass Aviation and a Twist & Stout.
Ling Ling is a MUST eat, drink and enjoy experience. Utterly delicious food and amazing cocktails. The next chance I get, I ll be back.
For those looking for restaurants inside the medina, my staple choices and definite ‘return too’ places are Nomad situated near the Place des spices, the spice square. Whether it be for lunch or dinner, Nomad is always a good choice as its affordable and the food is great! (Top tip- try the delicious Date Cake and the Lamb burger). Eat on the terrace if at all possible and you can pre book online too.
And last but by no means least Pepe Nero, my all time favourite place to eat in Marrakech. Located about a ten minute walk from the square up the road to the left of Cafe de France, follow the signs. I would suggest booking online before you visit as it gets very busy and booked up fast. From my first visit to Pepe Nero in the summer of 2012 to the most recent in February, I have eaten here nine times trust me its good! I have taken family, friends and highly recommended it to anyone who I knew was coming to Marrakech. The main reasons being its gorgeous location inside Riad Al Moussika, the food will suit all as it offers a Moroccan and a Italian menu, price wise it is such good value for money and the staff are very hospitable. I will eat here on many more return visits to come. Try their Pigeon pie and the gorgeous Tagines. Most importantly enjoy!!
I hope this has give you a better insight into some of the restaurants on offer in Marrakech. As always feel free to ask any more questions by leaving me a message or send me an email to email@example.com
SOS Travel UK