Friday, 5 August 2011

Dinner with Momo

I recently had the pleasure of dining at Downtown’s Momo at the Souks. A friend and I had dinner there earlier in the week. Thankfully, she’s one these vegematarians so, despite being a committed carnivore I was able to “enjoy” some herbivorous items from the menu.

The terrace, overlooking the souk

I’d been before but was a little reluctant to post about it for two reasons, firstly, it was during my hiatus from Brit in Beirut, secondly, the experience wasn’t all that (it was just after it opened, so I was willing to cut them a little slack).

This time however, everything was great.

Pastilla, essentially a pigeon pie, is one of my favourite dishes and Momo’s was second only to La Mamounia in Marrakech and possibly the Momo’s in London, so I was off to a good start. I followed that with a lamb tagine. I figure that the best baseline test for any Moroccan restaurant has to be their tagine and I wasn’t disappointed. This isn’t to say that it was the best, my wife’s tagine approximation is better, but it was pretty damn close.

My poor little veggie friend, when she found the energy to express emotion, claimed that her aubergine starter and veggie tagine were both good. I can’t claim to the veracity of her statement regarding the aubergine dish, but the tagine certainly tasted vegetablely and thus, I presume, was satisfying enough to one unused to the taste of proper food.

And now we get to the real reason why Momo’s got a reprieve the first time around … they serve port. Port, for the uninitiated among you, is God’s drink. It’s a fortified wine originally from Portugal but also consumed in vast quantities by certain types of Brit. I am of that type. The list at Momo’s isn’t extensive, but it’s serviceable. I went out of my way to sample several varieties and was pleasantly pleased, and slightly inebriated.

Mmmmmm...... port........

All-in-all, a good night, good ambiance, good food and great staff. It was pretty reasonably priced, and without my port indulgence would have come to around 45 USD per head without wine, which is OK in my book. Plus, as my friend said, the wallpaper’s pretty.

My, look at the pretty pink walls

(Disclaimer: I am not a meat Fascist. I believe there’s a time and place for vegetarian options, when you’re too old to chew for example, or when you’re dead.)