On the hip-and-happening strip that is Golborne Road is a new addition, Zayane, a modern Moroccan restaurant owned by Casablanca-born Meryem Mortell. With Zayane, the effervescent Meryem has brought her love of her homeland to life with a beautiful traditional Moroccan décor that is both attractive and welcoming. Think colours of oranges and blues, tea-lights in Moroccan styled brass candleholders and plush cushions. What’s more, on the night of our visit there was a singer on hand belting out soulful Middle Eastern tunes which were literally ‘music’ to our ears. Zayane was definitely not short on atmosphere!

The head chef is Chris Bower, previously of Michelin Starred Thackerays and The Ivy, and his remit was to combine the vibrancy of Moroccan cooking with modern cooking techniques and the use of seasonal British ingredients.

I visited Zayane as part of a bloggers’ dinner, and we were welcomed with a Zayane Passion, a passion fruit and vodka cocktail which was absolutely delicious. It was fresh and sweet with a hint of acidity and I would recommend this as a way to start the meal.

Zayane - London Food Blog - Zayane Passion

Zayane – The Zayane Passion

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El Cantara

El Cantara is a newly opened Spanish and Moroccan restaurant on Frith Street. Much care was taken in decorating the restaurant. Moroccan interior designer Nadine Rovass spent months trawling through the markets of Southern Spain and Morocco searching for unique pieces that would bring the Spanish and Moroccan theme together. To this effect, you will see the nicest of finishings in the restaurant including hand-painted floor and wall tiles, beautifully hand-stitched cushions and pillows, Moroccan lanterns and hand-engraved brass tables. The bathroom in the basement is special too, and houses the finest organic Moroccan hand soap. There’s also a terrace on the first floor with lounge seats where you can sit comfortably, smoke shisha and simply chill. On Fridays and Saturdays, there are also belly and Flamenco dancers available for your entertainment pleasure.

I went to a bloggers dinner at El Cantara a couple of weeks ago as a guest of the restaurant. The menu is divided roughly into tapas to share, tangines, seafood dishes, cous cous, paellas and grills. We started with a number of tapas dishes, including gambas al ajillo (£5.45) which was crunchy and firm, although they could have done with a touch more garlic.

Gambas al ajillo

Gambas al ajillo

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