Guys, I’m in Morocco! I’ve been wanting and planning this trip for so long it feels surreal I’m actually in this fascinating country. We actually missed our flight there, and I was in absolute distress (read more on my Marrakech travel diaries)! Nonetheless, we made it in the end. After the stress, I just needed a good big meal to feast on. So after a teeny bit of research, we booked for lunch at this well-rated restaurant called Al Fassia.
Al Fassia has two branches in Marrakech – one in the Gueliz area, the other in Aguedal. The one in Aguedal is a boutique hotel/riad nearby the Jardins de l’Agdal, whereas the Gueliz one is just the restaurant at the new area of Marrakech (i.e. outside of the medina). We went to the Gueliz branch for lunch as it’s more centrally located. After lunch, we get to take a 15 to 20-minute walk to the very beautiful Jardin Majorelle which is absolutely a stunning place to visit.
The name “Al Fassia” translates as the women of Fez, and the restaurant is entirely run by women. The restaurant is founded by a sisters duo, Myra and Saida Chab. It has become so successful in the country that it has become a training centre for women in the hospitality industry!
As we arrived at the gates, the doorman led us to the restaurant and then a team of ladies are at the reception ready to serve.
The interior of the restaurant was very nice. Despite the crazy hustle & bustle of Marrakech, stepping into the restaurant is like entering a whole new different environment. The restaurant was really peaceful and quiet. And it just smells REALLY good inside. Each table has a delicate little vase with roses on it alongside with nice tablecloths – simple but sets an elegant tone to the place.
Here is what we ordered:
Pigeon Pastilla (130Dhs)
Yes, you heard it right, it’s a pigeon pastilla. It’s a Moroccan speciality and don’t knock it till you try it. If you don’t know what a pastilla is, it is filled pastry dish that encompasses a blend of both sweet and savoury flavours. Chicken and pigeon are the most common fillings but you can find seafood and vegetarian options as well. I personally enjoyed it so much I would consider it as much of a national staple to tagine!
Anyway, from all the reviews I’ve read online, Al Fassia’s pigeon pastilla has been regarded as one of the best ones across Marrakech. The pastry was extremely crispy. You can hear the crunch super clearly as you cut through the pastilla. The filling was delicious and actually slightly sweet. Personally, I was anticipating a stronger contrast between the sweet & savoury flavours so I would’ve liked the filling to be more savoury. It was still superb though regardless! But I’d say I liked the one I had in Paris at La Maison de Charly just a little bit more.
Seafood Pastilla (160Dhs)
We also ordered another pastilla for starters and picked the seafood one. The seafood pastilla is stuffed with prawns, calamari, fish, and vermicelli. I’m surprised that this pastilla carries a very tangy and zesty flavour, which is completely different from that of the poultry one. It’s certainly an absolute delight and I just loved the use of vermicelli here too.
Roasted Lamb Shoulder (for 2 persons) (520Dhs)
Another staple at Al Fassia is their roasted lamb shoulder. I read that it needs to be pre-ordered 24 hours in advance and so we did so when we made the reservation.
The lamb shoulder came with a side of couscous and vegetables. Let’s focus on the lamb shoulder itself. It was slow-cooked with caramelised onions and candied raisins. The meat falls off the bone effortlessly and was extremely tender. As you can see, it’s extremely juicy and saucy as well with all that sauce all over it. Since we both like a bit of spice, we felt the lamb shoulder could use a little boost of spice. Many online reviews describe their lamb shoulder to be the epitome of the dish. We thought it was great but not to that extent of exaggeration. Anyway, at the end of the day, what matters is that we really enjoyed it!
As we finished the food, the waitress placed this massive hot towel urn on our table and we helped ourselves with some fresh hot towels to refresh. We were quite stuffed already so had no room for dessert. But all in all, if you’re looking for a nice meal to feast in at Marrakech, Al Fassia is definitely one to have on the list.
Are you planning a visit to Marrakech or Morocco soon? You can have a read of my little four-part Morocco travel series (part 1 being Marrakech) to check out our itinerary for the trip.
Tel: +212 5244-34060