April 18, 2016 / Leave a Comment
We arrived at Al Hambra after looking for a quaint date night spot and were as always, happy to have scored a table with a lovely Burj al Arab view.
It’s kind of why you come to Al Qasr and Madinat though isn’t it, the view? Good food that went along with it however would be nice once in a while. I ignored the average reviews on Zomato and tried to give it the benefit of the doubt – it’s close by our residence and I was frankly sick of searching for restaurants. We are big tapas fans having travelled Spain a couple of times – plus the abundance of pork on the menu helped to entice. It’ll do.
After being led to the restaurant from the Al Qasr entrance, we were met with rustic, mediterranean decor and a large bull head on the wall. Seems we were in the right place. The restaurant had a pleasant ambience, and I have to say we were made to feel very welcome by our waiter. Our cocktails soon arrive (one with a good kick of chili – pretty good actually), a giant snail shaped bread sculpture of sorts is delivered to our table. Being rather hungry we dove into the bread, which was served with aioli and a pico de gallo/salsa of some sort. Though we were very happy to see it, the downside was that this bread seriously fills you up – it’s more a size for four than for two! It did take the edge off our anticipation for our ordered dishes which was a little bit of a shame. I’d advise exercising much restraint when it comes to the giant bread, as hard as it is. They really should adjust the size for two/four diners as they are probably doing themselves out of revenue with lost orders due to full tummies!
Finally motivating ourselves to leave the bread behind (otherwise known as finishing it), We ordered the iberico loin (a bit too smoky for me) and the croquettes (delicious – I definitely recommend these). We also had the chorizo which again was too smoky for my palate and very similar in flavour to the iberico loin. We had planned on ordering the pork belly but were beyond full by that point! It looked pretty small for the price point when we saw it at other tables so on reflection we weren’t too disappointed that we couldn’t fit it in. We also enjoyed some Spanish wine that wasn’t too bad either.
On the whole, the food was very average, the view was good, and the service was great. I have to note that we had a very nice discount however through a membership card – if we hadn’t, I probably would have been spitting tacks as at full price this would not be an experience I’d want to repeat. Passable at half price, but look elsewhere if you are paying full tick. I think however they have an all you can eat tapas deal for 195dhs on certain days (best to call and check) if you have a stomach that can take full advantage of it!
Even though Madinat/Al Qasr is a tourist trap and you need to moderate your expectations accordingly, there are still better venues within to spend your dirhams on. I’d give it a miss.