Tuesday, May 23, 2017

a feast unlike any other

There was one thing I was hellbent on experiencing in Tangier, and that was a meal at the Restaurant Populaire Le Saveur du Poisson, which was featured in an episode of Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown on Tangier. We arrived a bit early for lunch, only to discover a few people already waiting for the little restaurant to open.

Once inside we were greeted by gregarious chap who placed down a series of clay dishes that contained a spicy harissa, toasted nuts, and herbed olives. We were also given a bowl of fish soup ladled from a large clay amphora, and a basket of assorted breads and baghrir— a spongy pancake that I have become quite fond of.

Next came a tajine of greens with calamari and herbs, shark kebabs, and a most delicious John Dory, delicately flavoured with cumin. Our cups were abundantly refilled with the house juice of several unnamed fruit and herbs— a concoction unlike anything I have ever tasted— sweet and earthy.

Every morsel of that John Dory was devoured, and our dishes were cleaned to the clay. Then dessert came our way: one dish of fresh strawberries in honey with pomegranate seeds, walnuts and pine nuts, and another of warm nuts in honey and a hint of eucalyptus. My oh my, the memory of this feast is making my mouth water as I type!

The entire experience was so wonderful, from the divinely delicious food and juice, to our lovely waiter who gave me a clay mug as a souvenir at the end of the meal. I have a soft spot for wooden spoons and forks, and for the bees who joined us for dessert. Should you find yourself in Tangier, make sure you seek out Le Saveur du Poisson— it's a fixed seasonal menu, a bit pricey for Morocco at 200 Dirhams a person (about 20€), but well worth it!

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