Kui-Zin Restaurant, Marrakech

Kui-Zin is a cafe/restaurant that opened late 2013 in the heart of the medina.

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Ideally placed as either a lunch or dinner stop after a tour of the souks it offers an inventive mix of foods and also a relaxed atmosphere. There are other cafes in the medina but none, in our experience, are as friendly or clean as Kui-Zin or offer as interesting a mix of dishes. They also have free wifi and a choice of sitting by the large windows and watching the medina life go by or moving towards the back and blocking out the bustle of the medina altogether.

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We were greeted on arrival by Nadia, the co-owner.

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Nadia explained that there was a range of fixed price menus or we could order individual items.

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Our waiters name was Yassine.

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Both Nadia and Yassine spoke great English and were polite, helpful and relaxed. During our evening at Kui-Zin they gave us good service, attending to us if we needed anything but leaving us alone when we wanted that. A simple thing, but so many restaurants in Morocco don’t get this right. Happy to say that Kui-Zin do.

We ordered still and sparkling water and also juices. Lamia had the fruit cocktail (“it’s very fruity,” said Lamia, “with a wholesome taste of banana and a load of other fruits like orange.”) and I had the ginger orange juice. There was no pulp and a kick of ginger. I’ve come to enjoy this combination whilst in morocco – a little fiery and a little fruity – and this version didn’t disappoint.

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On the table was black olive tapanade with small crunchy bites of bread.

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For main Lamia had the tagliatelle bolognaise with grated cheese.

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“There’s a fresh taste of tomato sauce, and sage.” Lamia said, “The pasta is well-cooked so people should ask if they want it served al dente. The minced beef is delicately spiced and there’s parmesan provided on the side and you add it as you like.” Nadia told us that all their pasta and sauce is homemade, as are the bread rolls and desserts. The bread rolls were exceptional, you could really taste that they were homemade.

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I had the vegetable moussaka with tomato and cucumber salad. It was very cheesy and nicely crisped around the sides. Most people wouldn’t be able to tell it was a veggie dish because the meat substitute was the same reddy colour and texture as meat. It was a good sized portion and the salad that came with it had fresh green leaves and quality black olives.

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We fancied a blow out so we shared another main dish that we’d read a lot about on Trip Advisor, the chicken curry with rice and vegetables. It tasted like a western curry, that is, what you’d expect in London, except with more meat. The sauce was minimal and it wasn’t oily. There was no chicken bone, just fillets and it’s impossible to say that this is a certain type of curry such as a madras or a jalfrezi. If you wanted to know it’s heat level I’d say it was just a touch above a korma, so very light really. Lamia was raised on curry and she thought it good, as I did.

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We thought we’d take some photos of what other people were eating, to give you more of an idea of what foods are served at Kui-Zin and how they are presented. Here they are.

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As I’ve mentioned, the desserts are all homemade, and they looked fantastic in the chiller cabinet. Customers are encouraged to choose the exact dessert they want which is a rare and nice touch.

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We shared a chocolate cake at first.

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There was a hint of orange and rich chocolate and it was moist, dense but not too heavy and topped with a crunchy walnut. It was an excellent cake and Kui-Zin must have a very accomplished baker to produce such a delight.

Next we shared the strawberry flan.

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This was a much softer dessert, a pastry flan with a layer of firm custard topped with strawberry mousse, decorated with thick cream and a cherry. The textures were pleasant but the strawberry was a little too subtle for me. This probably means that the ingredients were good and without artificial additives but still, I do like a stronger taste in my dessert.

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My favourite dessert was the chocolate mousse.

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There were layers of nuts, fresh cream, hints of almond and coffee and also soft biscuit. Superb. This wouldn’t be out of place in a good restaurant in Rome or France and I guess you might call it a Kui-Zin version of tiramisu.

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All the food that we ate at Kui-Zin was good but it was worth going there for this chocolate mousse alone!

We enjoyed our evening at Kui-Zin and it’s easy to see why it’s so highly rated in Trip Advisor. Excellent and friendly service, superb, good value food (much of it created using organically grown local herbs) and there’s a wealth of material to occupy your camera whilst you eat, or relax afterwards.

To discover more about Kui-Zin please visit http://www.kui-zin.com/

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