Soul Food at Agadir
Saeed Saeed | June 26, 2013
Agadir restaurant recently launched its Family Weekend Lunch special. We find the hearty meal full of fresh flavours demonstrating respect to the traditions of Moroccan cuisine.
The Family Weekend package is served Friday and Saturday from 1pm to 3pm at The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa’s Moroccan inspired restaurant Agadir. The meal is meant to be enjoyed as a casual family affair with a five-course menu ranging from soups, salads, the main and fruit platter. The price is Dh159 plus additional costs.
Appetiser: Moroccan bread
Freshly baked, it was served in small bite-sized pieces alongside spicy Harisa sauce and olive oil. The wood-oven baked bread is deceptively heavy and the waiter gleefully dismissed my notion it was somehow laced with cheese. “That’s just the way it tastes,” he said. Indeed, it was delicious.
Course 1 : Harira
Although Harira soup is traditionally served during Ramadan, Agadir’s choice to place it on the menu early is not a major faux pas. The spicy soup, made with chickpeas, green lentils and a cube of meat is relatively light and the tanginess remained long after completion.
Course 2: Moroccan salad
Beautifully presented on two rectangular plates holding three dishes each, the salad selection reflected a range of local produce. It would have been great if the menu actually explained the ingredients behind the foreign names. Luckily I dined with a Moroccan friend who gave me the lowdown on some of the dishes:
Touktuka is a zesty tomato and green pepper salad.
Zaalouk contains aubergines, tomato, garlic oil and spices.
Set in small dishes, the whole point was to dip in and out of the offerings whilst engrossed in conversation. Standing out amongst the dishes however was the Moroccan hummus. While it was spicy and delectable, the fact remained it is not a Moroccan dish.
Course 3: Mixed Briouates
The plate of assorted filo pastry continued the small sizes/different flavours theme of the menu. The fillings in the samosas and spring rolls included seafood, kofta, cheese and spinach, spicy tomato and herb relish. All packed a lot of flavour with some slightly oilier than others.
Course 4: Mechoui
Anyone begrudging the small sizes of the meals so far would have eaten their words upon the first glance of the lavish main. The Mechoui is a shoulder lamb roasted for nearly three hours and served with a plethora of spices including cumin and paprika. It rested on a plate of Moroccan rice and vegetables. First of all, the presentation was amazing. The lamb in the centre, surrounded by a circular stream of rice punctuated by colourful spices and vegetables that looked too good to touch. So well cooked was the lamb that a gentle prod from my spoon allowed a small section to tumble like a glacier. It was juicy and worked well with the softly seasoned rice.
Course 5: Food platter
More colour on the way with a fresh platter of fresh fruit including lychee, passion fruit and mango. It is made to chew on while basking in the glory of that Mechoui.
The Wash Up
The Family Weekend package serves from two to four so make sure to come hungry. More importantly, this is a set menu made to foster conversation and nurture relationships. On those terms alone, it can definitely be considered soul food.
Agadir is located at The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa. For details go to www.agadirabudhabi.com