I’ve recently had an unbelievable trip with my girlfriend in Morocco. The country was everything we had hoped for, with vibrant cities displaying the rich cultural heritage and beautiful nature that ranges from the Sahara desert to endless plains to even snowy mountains. In addition, my girlfriend and I ate very well in Morocco. We were particularly fans of the traditional vegetable assortments that come out at the beginning that you can eat alongside with breads, followed by various meat dishes (whether in grilled skewer forms or in tagines) that showcased a ton of hearty feel. Our last stop in the trip was in Marrakech, and there were a couple of higher end restaurants I wanted to try. One of them that I definitely wanted to visit was Gastro MK, located inside the luxury hotel Maison MK in the old town (medina) of the city. I was intrigued to see what the French-Moroccan fusion menu would bring to the table. As a former colony of France, Morocco still retains a lot of French influence everywhere, and I wanted to see how the Moroccan spices and ingredients are translated in the French-centric setting. Overall, we’ve had a pleasant meal.
Our five-course meal (at 650 dirhams or roughly $65 per person) started at the hotel’s beautiful terrace with some small bites. After we were led back to the absolutely gorgeous dining space (with small pool in the center) inside, I was feeling quite jubilant, even more so after tasting the magnificent leek cumin veloute. This traditional French soup dish added with the spice of cumin that Moroccans use everywhere in their cooking had immaculate balance of flavor while having a bit of spicy kick that I simply loved so much that I finished this dish within a minute. Then came the second dishes that you can select between vegetable-based grilled aubergine and salmon. Obviously, we picked one dish each. I enjoyed both dishes again, especially impressed with the moderate use of seasoning that made the texture of vegetables and salmon shine in their lightly grilled form.
Unfortunately, the main dishes were slightly underwhelming. It was partly my felt on the filet and slow-cooked lamb tagine because I had asked for medium instead of medium rare, but the meat overall came a little less juicy than I had hoped, and the addition of carrot and orange puree and fondant potatoes didn’t add much to my disappointment. I also stole some of pan-fried filet of sea bass that my girlfriend had ordered, but couldn’t find anything that stood out either. The desserts came out slightly better. Mojito mousse with spiced pineapple salsa and mint was a refreshing dish, and marmalade cake with orange and cinnamon sorbet was quite delightful in the sensation of Moroccan orange and cinnamon spice without being overly sweet.
I had no problem getting a reservation via the restaurant’s website (although they ask to hold your credit card), and the dining space was generally empty (maybe it’s because the time we visited was not yet a peak holiday season for tourists). There are some French and Moroccan wine selections (it was a bit of a challenge to get a hold of decent wine in this predominantly Muslim country) to go along with your food, as well as some cocktails on the lighter side. Gastro MK may not be the most mind-blowing restaurant in the world, but I do appreciate the restaurant’s creative take on merging the rich culinary traditions of France and Morocco.
- Creativity: 8.5/10
- Execution: 8.0/10
- Ingredients: 8.5/10
- Flavor: 8.0/10
- Texture: 8.0/10
Address: 14 Derb Sebaai, L’ksour, Medina, Marrakech, Morocco
Telephone: +212 (0) 524 37 61 73