Gastro MK Marrakech: where you get a “foodie-focused” meal

When I Googled “best places to eat in Marrakech”, Gastro MK seemed to appear on everyone’s list. Bon Appétit called it “The Michelin Contender” and that was all I needed to know to book dinner.

Gastro MK by The Girl Next ShoreYou can find Gastro MK within the maze of the Medina (they have guides with signs all over, but be vigilant and make sure you follow the official ones). It’s essentially the kitchen of Maison MK who call themselves a foodie-focused luxury spa/hotel.

Gastro MK by The Girl Next ShoreGastro MK by The Girl Next ShoreThe restaurant is set in the hotel’s quad, typical Moroccan style. It’s bright, airy, cosy and convivial. With tables spaced quite nicely, it seemed like a decent good place to have an intimate dinner – most of the punters I saw were on dates or solo travelling.

Gastro MK by The Girl Next ShoreGastro MK offers a 5-course tasting menu for 650 MAD or £46. Ain’t that a bargain or what? The menu varies depending on what’s in season, so people are sure to have something different whenever they go back.

Gastro MK by The Girl Next ShoreOpted for a nice rose wine from Provence, which was the first and last non-local wine I’ve had for the trip. It was crisp and delicious, and perfect to pair with the feast I was about to have.

Gastro MK by The Girl Next ShoreBread offering included olive bread, white rolls and cumin rolls.

Gastro MK by The Girl Next ShoreThe first course was a cauliflower and saffron velouté with argan oil foam. It’s a well-rounded soup with a bold earthiness to it, yet it’s light and refreshing. Off to a good start.

Gastro MK by The Girl Next ShoreMy second course was an asparagus salad which I thoroughly enjoyed. Served with beans, onion and chopped hazelnut, I enjoyed the freshness and textures of the asparagus grown locally.

Gastro MK by The Girl Next ShoreThe other option was a beetroot cured salmon gravadlax with roasted beetroot, preserved lemon puree and a citrusy mayo. I’ve come off smoked salmon for a while now but this was pretty decent too.

Gastro MK by The Girl Next ShoreMains are deconstructed tagines, aka a modern twist to the usual Moroccan fare. I opted for the seabass served with a lovely chermoula made with leeks, raisin and herb. The fish itself was impressively fresh; As Marrakech is not close to the sea, seafood is usually delivered on the day from coastal cities like Essaouira or Agadir. Overall, I liked the dish enough but it didn’t really blow me away.

Gastro MK by The Girl Next ShoreThe other option was a fillet ala mechoui, the traditional North African spit roasted lamb. This was actually the better and more interesting dish. Served with some carrot, orange pieces and pomegranate molasses, the lamb was tender and absolutely flavoursome.

Gastro MK by The Girl Next ShoreThe fourth course was more like a palate cleanser celebrating the lovely pineapple served with different types of herbs and textures. The sorbet with basil was good, the lassi was creamy, and the grilled carpaccio with mint was very nice indeed.

Gastro MK by The Girl Next ShoreBut it was the tagine apple tart that stole my heart. I gobbled this up in no time, the whole thing was just so delicious and perfectly balanced, with the apple sweet and slightly tangy. The pastry was decent and the caramel was just the right amount.

Gastro MK by The Girl Next ShoreAnd the 5-pepper ice cream just totally blew my mind. What a good way to end the meal!

Gastro MKPost dinner, I went up the roof for a relaxing post-dinner mint tea. It gets a bit cold in the dessert, but there are nice views from where Maison MK is.

Verdict

Gastro MK is ranked #1 restaurant in Marrakech on TripAdvisor. Now, I don’t really rate TripAdvisor much when it comes to restaurants but I was convinced this would be mind-blowing when I read other reviews from online magazines. However, it was quite underwhelming.

Frankly, I wasn’t blown away with the meal, but for what it’s worth, service and ambience was very good. It’s a nice place to go for a first meal in the Red City as the deconstructed tagines prep you for all the rich food you can have. Go, if not for the meal, then for cocktails, tea and rooftop views upstairs.

Gastro MK at Maison MK
14 Derb Lafkih Sbaai | Quartier Luksour, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Average spend pp: £50

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10 Comments

  1. 21st May 2016 / 3:19 pm

    I had read similar views to yours before we went to Marrakech and so we never made it to here. Those desserts look so good though!! And such a lovely setting.
    Vicky xx
    http://www.dalton-banks.co.uk

    • Honey de Gracia
      Author
      22nd May 2016 / 9:50 pm

      The desserts were really decent, and I really liked having mint tea on the rooftop. Overall, my mind wasn’t blown away but it was a pleasant dinner still. x

  2. 22nd May 2016 / 6:02 am

    Really interesting to read your take on it! The food does look fairly light for Morrocan food which is often a good thing!

    • Honey de Gracia
      Author
      22nd May 2016 / 9:50 pm

      Haha yeah, I think having those deconstructed tagines helped balance the richness! x

    • Honey de Gracia
      Author
      23rd May 2016 / 10:50 pm

      Aww, me too Emma. At least the rooftop views made up for it. And the tart was yum!

  3. 23rd May 2016 / 8:18 pm

    I love Morrocan food. We used to have an incredible Morrocan restaurant right around the corner from our house. This doesn’t look quite like the typical food we ate though. A lot fancier. I like the look of the beetroot cured salmon gravadlax and the apple tart. Shame that it didn’t live up to expectation.

    • Honey de Gracia
      Author
      23rd May 2016 / 10:51 pm

      I agree, Katharina. Moroccan food I think is best in its purest form, ie big, bold, and generous! =) x

  4. 26th May 2016 / 1:53 pm

    I’ve never been to Marrakech, I’d love to go sometime! Shame that this didn’t live up to your expectations.

    Erin xxx
    islandbell.co.uk

  5. 26th May 2016 / 11:28 pm

    the tagine apple tart looks like it might steal my heart too!

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