The least exciting aspects of Marrakech in the heart of Soho
Maison Touareg, Soho’s take on Morocco struck me as an intriguing place. Having spent some time in Morocco at the back end of 2012, I wasn’t terribly impressed with a lot of the food I ate. Too often the menus lacked imagination, frequently with just five variations of tagine and then some spaghetti dishes on the side. That’s why I was genuinely excited about coming to Maison. With fully equipped kitchens and the variety of world ingredients available in London, it was bound to be amazing.
Upon walking into Maison Touareg I was impressed – it’s in a great Soho location but really captures the feeling of many Moroccan restaurants. We were sat downstairs which mirrors the essence of Marrakech with its sweeping red atmosphere. Sadly this represented the high point of the evening.
When in a restaurant, you need to feel at home. However, the tables were instantly annoying – too low to comfortably fit your legs under. I’m someone who likes to think he tips 6” (but is frequently advised otherwise), but even I struggled to get my legs under the table.
Now to the serious business of the food. The food was very prompt out. I had sea bass with Lebanese style rice and tomato salsa. I also had a side of olives and some bread.
The Lebanese style rice was light, with a sweet, delicate taste to it. The olives on the other hand had a fantastic strong mix of garlic and lemon. Nothing earth shattering but why reinvent the wheel?
The problem came with the sea bass, which I found to be very bland. No flavour whatsoever to speak of which was a shame, especially given the pretty hefty price tag of £16.50 for such a small piece of nondescript fish. This sentiment was also shared by Gary who had a mixed grill for £16.90. You’ve got to nail the meat if it’s the centrepiece of the dish and this just wasn’t the case.
Whilst the entertainment of a belly dancer did begin to make up for things, it sadly only did enough to bring Maison Touareg up to the level of average. Maybe Moroccan food just lacks the X factor of other nations and Maison actually has it spot on. Either way, I’m not desperately keen to go back, which is a shame.
Go to this maison if you:
- Value friendly and accommodating staff
- Want Food served promptly
- Enjoy Belly dancing
Stay at your own maison if you:
- Feel the flavour is central to the meal
- Prefer comfortable tables
- Like staying warm
- Believe food should be priced on quality, not restaurant location
Note: I would have given Maison a two star, but my girlfriend is adamant her vegetarian tagine at £13.90 was a winner, so I’m awarding it two and a half.
|Efes x 6||£3.85 each|
|Caiprinha x 2||£6.50 each|
23-24 Greek St,
London W1D 4DZ