Have you ever been to Morocco? Have you had every one of your senses put into overload? An explosion of colour, tastes, sights and smells.
The stunning bright and vivid burnt oranges and terracottas of the soil, azure blues replicating the skies and lime green depicting the lush greenery giving shade and providing coolness in the courtyards of city centre Riads; leaving a lasting impression and what makes this country a must return destination.
Ah the memories ….so when I received an invite to attend the opening of Souq, Edinburgh’s latest Moroccan restaurant, I jumped for joy! The smells and flavours came rushing back and I couldn’t wait.
Souq on South Clerk Street use to be a cafe and a shop and now after a refurb it’s a 110 seater Moroccan restaurant serving up middle eastern food with some amazing belly dancing to accompany your meal.
On entering, your immediately hit by an overwhelming yet exciting space filled with colour. The Moroccan lamps and lights hanging like twinkling jewels in the sky luring you in … much like the feeling of when you first walk in and disappear into the heart of the Jemaa el Fna Souk in Marrakech. The shop aspect of the old Souq remains in that you can still purchase the rugs, lights, lamps, slippers etc.
Shown to our table by super friendly staff, we were seated at a table right next to a rather large open space – soon to find out that this is the dancefloor where the belly dancers show off their moves of belly popping, shimming and general booty shaking.
Souq is BYOB so I brought along a lovely white and a dessert wine. This Riesling Rheinhessen is delicate with flavours of apples, citrus and blossom as well as a steely mineral character and pairs well with Asian cuisine or spicy food.
I also bought this Concha Y Toro Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc with flavours of Morocco – apricot and honey on the finish. Perfect with baklava.
On arrival terracotta clay pots dotted the table filled to the brim with black and green olives. They are not the Moroccan olives I know so well, but tasty none the less.
The launch night menu was 3 courses for £20. Our choice of starters were : Falafel and Hummous, Qarnabit which is deep fried cauliflower with whipped feta or the Kubba Halab which is minced lamb patties with sultanas.
I tried out the Falafel and Hummus.This was six dome shaped falafel cakes served with freshly made hummus. It was quite a large portion; six falafels are a lot to eat as a starter as they are naturally quite dry. You needed a large dollop of hummus with each bite. The falafels themselves were very tasty, well spiced and seasoned – just too many.
From around the table, I think the Deep Fried Cauliflower was the winner in the starter round – it looked quite impressive and smelt amazing.
For mains we had a choice of : Vegetable Fatayer which is flatbread with mixed spiced vegetables; Tagine Djaj which is slow cooked chicken with aromatic spices or Soujuk which is Lebanese sausage with tomato and green pepper.
I kept with the traditional Moroccan dishes and opted for the Tagine.
When they remove the lid, the aroma released is heavenly. Smells of preserved lemons, cinnamon, tumeric and paprika fill the air. The chicken was tender and just fell apart, and the sauce was lovingly mopped up with the fresh, hot delicious homemade flatbreads.
Natalie showing us how it’s done Souq Restaurant
Gepostet von Tartanspoon am Sonntag, 8. April 2018
On Saturday nights from 8pm they have the amazing mesmerising Belly Dancers. The troup consists of Natalie, Moyra, Lorna and Kerimeh. Not only will they put on an amazing show, showing off their own specialities such as finger cymbols and sticks but they encourage audience participation. You’ll be invited up onto the dance floor and a coin belt flung around your waist as you get into the rhythm of swaying your hips.
The show lasts for approx 2 hours with plenty of laughter and much fun to be had.
But back to the food; lastly for dessert the choice was Baklava, Turkish Delight or Cheesecake with ice cream. I’d brought the wine to be paired with Baklava, so Baklava it was. This was the one dish that I was disappointed with only because of my preference to honey soaked sweet baklava. This was well made but quite dry and not very sweet. The pastry was lovely and flaky and the accompanied with the saffron ice cream was a nice enough dessert. I think next time, I’d order the Turkish Delight.
Souq serve up a delight of Moroccan Street and Middle Eastern Food. Jamal, his staff and the fabulous dance troup will look after you and you will feel like you are part of the family. The restaurant is very much an experience restaurant, go for the belly dancing and enjoy the food and hospitality.
I have been to Morocco 3 times in the last 6 years and feel I am long overdue another visit but in the meantime I have Souq.
Souq Restaurant, 57 South Clerk Street, Edinburgh.
Tel : 0131 6676601 www.souq-edinburgh.com/
My Spoon Award : Silver 8/10 (I give the food 7/10 but the overall experience 9/10)