Saturday, 21 January 2017
REVIEW: Little Marrakech, St Albans
Oh, hello! I took a little bit of a Christmas break from blogging... that then extended into January. The first few weeks of January have actually been pretty quiet, and staying home and trying to remember how to make food that's not entirely made of cheese and booze isn't all that blog-worthy.
Of course, plenty's been going on. Obviously we moved into our own house in December, and we've made serious strides in making it our own. There's still plenty to do, but I've been sharing pics and vids on Instagram and I'm definitely planning a few posts about that. I'm probably most excited about having a decent shoe storage area (remember all those pairs from Spartoo I've been posting over the years?). I'm really looking forward to exploring Tring and the local area a bit more, too. It's so nice! And new for this year is a little thing called Wedding Planning. Eeeep. We're planning to get married next year, so we need to start looking for venues soon and ironing out plans. I'm a big planner, so I'm sure there'll be lots of it on here. But not tooo much, if that's not your thing. I promise.
Having my own kitchen again means more cooking, which I've already been doing plenty of. I must confess it's been a lot of tried and tested recipes lately but I've got a few new cookbooks and am inspired to try some new things. Anyway. That's all to come!
Today I'm sharing a review of one of my favourite restaurants in St Albans, Little Marrakech. This lovely Moroccan restaurant has been tucked away near French Row for quite a long time, and it's always stood out as one of the best restaurants in the area. Sure, now there's a pretty diverse range of restaurants in St Albans, but a few years ago it used to be chains as far as the eye can see, with a million Italian and Indian restaurants and not much else, so Moroccan food was exotic beyond our wildest extremely tame dreams.
We went with my parents, and shared the Moroccan Meze to start, which included houmous, baba ghanoush, filo prawns, saffron potatoes and spicy sausages. We also shared Briwatts, a trio of samosa-like pastries each filled with something different - chicken, minced meat and feta.
But the highlight for me was the mains. I highly recommend the Fellouse Maamar - it's a whole baby chicken stuffed with saffron couscous, almonds and raisins and it's amazing. It comes absolutely scalding hot, which is the worst part about it, as you have to sadly look at it for about ten minutes before you can properly dig in, but when you do it's so worth the wait. Sweet, spicy and oh-so-flavoursome. By far the best thing on the menu. Yeah, I've been a few times before, I knew what to get.
Matt and my Dad both had the Sultan's Kadra - slow cooked lamb shank with prunes, almonds and vegetables. I've had this before too, and it's excellent, but it doesn't feel quite as unusual as some of the other dishes on the menu - after all, you can get lamb shank in a lot of restaurants, not just Moroccan ones. Matt had food envy, basically.
My lovely Mum is renowned for her poor ordering skills, and I did wonder why she ordered the Baghrir El Kodra, which was pancakes filled with grilled vegetables and topped with cheese and tomato sauce when there were tons of other options she could have gone for like fresh fish or one of the tagines. It was a little disappointing, but really, what more can you do with cheesy pancakes?
It is a lovely little restaurant - it's not huge inside (so I recommend booking, if you're planning a visit), and decorated so authentically that you forget for a moment that you're in Hertfordshire, not Marrakech. While we were eating, a belly dancer performed - it's a fabulous atmosphere, and the food really is great, particularly the uniquely Moroccan dishes.
Little Marrakech is at 31 Market Place, St Albans AL3 5DL. I was not compensated for this honest review.
© Essbeevee | Hertfordshire, London, St Albans, Tring food, lifestyle, interiors & travel blog. All rights reserved.