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31. December 2014: Restaurant Pepe Nero

| February 25, 2015 | 0 Comments

If you have found the Restaurant Pepe Nero you can call yourself lucky. I mean, with a guide it’s probably easy. Without a guide, it is quite a trip which may lead you through quite shady areas of the medina. After an intense and long walk through the outskirts of the Medina (if you do not come from the main square), you finally arrive at the Pepe Nero. Or more precisely, at a little sign which points toward the Pepe Nero. Now, there are two guys waiting for you to take you back through small alleys to get to the restaurant: When you finally enter the place, you are reliefed you are still alive.

The place is absolutely stunning. A little old Ryad with a nice patio in the middle with a little fountain. You just want to fall in love with the place. However, during NYE dinner (1427 MAD, resp. 130 EUR) it is all a bit too crowded and too loud. There is also live music from various parts of Morocco including a belly dancer which is definitely a “nice Moroccan experience” but it is too much and definitely too loud. The music, the concept, the idea is nice, but you almost have to yell if you want to talk which is too much.

The dinner started with a “canapé’s selection with flute of French champagne” or more precisely with “rice with black pepper and mushroom chips” which was very aromatic and intense in taste which raised the expectations for the night.


The second amuse bouche tough, the “toast with pigeon legs” was not of the same quality as the first course. Also, I personally think they were more quail legs than pigeon legs but that doesn’t change anything with regards to the assessment.


The first official course of the dinner was called “Winter’s Rainbow” and was basically a “beef tatar with a quail egg, shrimp, salad, and sauce” which was somehow a very mixed up combination but not bad.


The next course was a “crab bisque” which was very intense in taste but in a still pleasant way – although not far from tipping over to the unpleasant.


Yet another starter was the “crayfish nested in a Carnaroli risotto with a parmesan cracker” – the Carnaroli risotto was aromatic and luscious. The crayfish was as good – and the parmesan cracker made it an outstanding dish.


As a next course, the “raspberry champagne sorbet” was served – which was good to rest the stomach a bit as at this point in time I was already quite full.


And then it was time for the first main course, a “longline hake fillet with cous-cous and black lentils beluga”. Honestly, the fish was nothing which was much to my liking. But the cous-cous and black lentils beluga was a great and tasty combination.


But not enough with this, the second main course was a “limousine beef fillet in honey sauce on a bed of vegetables of the season”. The meat was super-tender (although not all at the table got the same quality) but a bit dull in taste. However, if at this point in time I would not already have had more than enough, I would say, great dish.


They really try to fill you up and – yes, they offer something for the price – somewhen you are just, “please, leave me with all the food”. The first dessert was a “Gourmet Treasure Chest” which was a layer of dough to cover an icecream with sugared fruit inlays. Simple, but good.


The second sweet was a “cassata in the chef’s way” which I just tried a bit. The fruits are nice, the cassata, very chocolate-intense, is good but way too intense for my personal gusto. Just to make sure you would not leave without feeling super-full, Moroccan pastries were served after this. I mean, I love to indulge in food but this was definitely a notch too much!


The place is great, and the food is actually quite fine too, especially if you consider the price for it. Which also applies to the wines (350 MAD for 0,75L) and the water (30 MAD). It is very atmospheric to sit down here and enjoy the new year’s eve.


Even the table decor is nice and you get to enjoy it quite a lot. However, there is something I do not quite understand. The service generally does a good job but there is room for improvement with regards to the attentiveness (e.g. re-filling the glass of wine or water), and there is bad timing from the kitchen crew as in the beginning there is a very pleasant pause between each course – and in the end, they just keep coming at a aspeed which definitely almost wants you to make throw up. Way too much!


Additionally to that, once midnight approaches, the waiters kind of force the people to get up, to get to the middle of the patio, and to party. And then, and that’s the weirdest thing of service I have seen in quite a while, they start partying and dancing with the guests when midnight comes. Odd but acceptable, I guess. However, when 15 minutes have passed, the waiters still party – and noone is there to attend your table, to take an order for coffee, or to get the bill. Only if you insist and basically wave at them and walk up to them, they take the order (and as one can obviously see, reluctantly so).

So, to sum it up: Beautiful place, good food, fair prices, and fair service. I guess if you go here any other night but midnight, the whole thing is pretty flawless but frankly speaking, besides the atmosphere, I would not go here again for NYE.


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Contact Details:

Restaurant Pepe Nero

Derb Cherkaoui 17

Douar Graoua

40000 Marrakesh (MA)

Tel.: +212 524 389 067

Fax: +212 524 377 653

Cell: +212 661 849 811

E-Mail: pepenero.marrakech@gmail.com

E-Mail: contact@pepenero-marrakech.com

Homepage: http://www.pepenero-marrakech.com

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.
2'000 MAD (incl. tip) Filed in: Marrakesh (MA), Restaurants

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