Monday, 25 August 2014

Moorish, Bristol

'Moorish' is an authentic Moroccan den nestled in the heart of St. Nicks Market, Bristol. A peaceful, patterned and almost palatial feel that triggered memories of my summer in Granada - a city that still very much lives in the backwash of Spain's Islamic conquest so long ago. What a summer. Whilst comfortingly surrounded by 'Moorish''s pattered drapes that formed the cafĂ©'s walls, memories of my Spanish summer flooded back. Whilst sipping on a mint tea my mind took me to the magical Alhambra palace - the red city majestically gripping the Sierra Nevada mountains, the enchantment of the Spanish guitar in the background and  the sweet smells of the street tea vendors drifting through the city's ancient cobbled alleys. For many, 'Moorish' won't evoke the nostalgia that I felt, instead it will bring something new and exciting to those who haven't visited the likes of Morocco or Granada. The eatery isn't a cheesily Moroccan themed tourist melting-pot, instead it gives off a genuine vibe. Admittedly Moorish is found in an area frequently inundated by tourists, yet all the same, it didn't feel like that.

The menu isn't massive, instead 'Moorish' provide quality food, served fast and leaving little impact on the old wallet. I went with my mum whilst lazily ambling through Bristol's historic centre. Suddenly gripped by hunger  and a little chilly, my mum couldn't resist 'Moorish's' enticing fabric cavern. The Mint tea is £1.50 and served traditionally in a metallic tea pot. With the addition of some sugary sweetness its perfect when feeling a little cold (standard's August). We hardly had time to stir in our sugar before our food arrived. We shared the Lamb and prune stew, and the 'Moorish Chicken'. The portion sizes were great!

Lamb & Prune Stew

Moorish Chicken
I had rice with the lamb, but you can have cous-cous. It also comes with some lentils and some chickpeas which were very tastily cooked. I absolutely love slow cooked lamb with the sweet and soft prunes. Although, I actually think I preferred the chicken dish, this we had with cous-cous - the sultanas were a welcome addition to the tagine. The chicken was really tender - I highly recommend it. This place has a rapid turn around, if you're after a quick but by no means meagre lunch this is the place. It's sociable- as such a small place and plenty of places to sit outside if you're blessed with good weather. There are a few large tables that area ideal for larger parties or as a communal space. The value for money is great - the lamb was £6.50, the chicken £6.00. There are daily specials, for example there was pita with a selection of three dips and spinach with chickpeas.

If you're after an extensive menu or a more fine-dining experience this isn't the place. For a fast lunch with  character this place is ideal. You can eat a large, healthy and pretty cheap meal here.

Quick Rating:
Service: 4  quick & efficient but not rushed or abrupt
Vibe: 4
Treat Worthy? This isn't really a treat place - it's all pretty healthy! No desserts. Go to the cake place further up - looks awesome!
Value for money: 4
GF/DF/Vegan options? Great for vegetarians, very flavoursome non-meat options. I think also good if avoiding gluten as there's plenty of rice and easy to avoid dairy if you're vegan too. No dishes explicitly say vegan but you can choose carefully.

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