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.
You 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.
The 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 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.
Opted 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.
Bread offering included olive bread, white rolls and cumin rolls.
The 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.
My 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.
The 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.
Mains 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.
The 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.
The 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.
But 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.
And the 5-pepper ice cream just totally blew my mind. What a good way to end the meal!
Post 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.
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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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.
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
Really interesting to read your take on it! The food does look fairly light for Morrocan food which is often a good thing!
Haha yeah, I think having those deconstructed tagines helped balance the richness! x
I’m disappointed that it didn’t live up to expectations!
Aww, me too Emma. At least the rooftop views made up for it. And the tart was yum!
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.
I agree, Katharina. Moroccan food I think is best in its purest form, ie big, bold, and generous! =) x
I’ve never been to Marrakech, I’d love to go sometime! Shame that this didn’t live up to your expectations.
the tagine apple tart looks like it might steal my heart too!