Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mamounia Lounge - Mayfair

37a Curzon Street


When Mamounia Lounge invited me to review their newly refurbished restaurant in Mayfair, I said yes - I had gone to their Knightsbridge location and thought the cooking was excellent so was excited to see if the kitchen in Mayfair was equally as accomplished. I'm not sure if we ordered better dishes this time or if the chef is even more skilled - but we had a meal with some astonishingly good flavors and textures.

We kicked off with a classic gin martini that A really enjoyed, and the Sheik Royal for me - elderflower vodka and champagne. To compare Mayfair to the Knightsbridge location, we ordered the same starters as last time. Hommus Shawarma - Creamy Chickpea puree served with a centre of marinated Lamb Shawarma, and Calamari – Fried & Served on a Mixed Leaf Salad with a Sweet Chili, and Lemon Dip. The hommus was as creamy and rich as we remembered, with crisp smoky grilled shawarma piled on top - I could eat endless piles of this with the fresh pita bread provided. The calamari was crunchy with just the lightest coating of batter, though not as tender as last time.

For mains, I ordered the Seafood Tagine – Seabass, King Prawns, Mussels & Calamari served in a Charmoula, Coriander and Spicy Tomato Sauce. The portion of seafood was incredibly generous and the sauce kept me dipping my fork in for more. I'm glad I ordered couscous to soak it up. Eat quickly, as the residual heat in the tagine will continue cooking the seafood - the last few bites of prawns were getting increasingly rubbery even though it arrived perfectly cooked. 

A's order of Meshoui - Traditional Shoulder of Lamb, slowly roasted for 8 hours, marinated in Moroccan Spices and served with fresh Dates, Orange and Apricots, was one of the best lamb dishes we've ever eaten. He couldn't stop raving about how tender the lamb was - a mere push of a fork and it would fall apart. We'll be keeping an eye out for this dish in the future, but if you want a wonderful example of it, I would highly recommend this one.

We were stuffed at this point so just managed some Moroccan tea (mint tea with sugar in it) and a mango platter - but Mamounia Lounge clearly knows how to source mangoes as I've never tasted mangoes so good in the UK. We polished off the entire platter despite our fullness - it was just impossible to not finish every slice.

Mamounia Lounge is very lively on a Saturday night - musicians and belly dancing make it feel more like a club/lounge than restaurant, so if you want a quieter meal, I'd go on a non-weekend night. The food is top notch, so just pick your preferred atmosphere - either way you'll get a great meal.

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