|Recipe for Romance in Devonshire Road|
Zagora Creates Moroccan Food That’s Made for Sharing
Just when I thought I knew more or less everything that Chiswick’s restaurant scene has to offer, I made a delightful discovery.
Zagora on Devonshire Road is not a new restaurant but one whose exterior, I my opinion, does little to entice diners to take a look inside. However, when I got round to doing so because I had a craving for something different, I discovered this traditional style Moroccan restaurant is real gem.
From the moment my husband and I stepped inside we were transported to into a world of Bedouin tents adorned with beautiful Moroccan artefacts, hand-made rugs and candle-lit tables that together create the most wonderfully authentic and romantic ambience.
We lounged (quite literally) on a low sofas brimming with plush vibrantly coloured cushions and scanned the menu for dishes that would take us back to the time we spent in Bedouin territory in our youth.
Moroccan cooking is noted for its freshness and variety with the tastes as clean as the combinations harmonious. Zagora’s offering is no exception.
We ordered grilled sardines, merguez (spicy sausage served with tomato and bean stew) and grilled chicken wings to start followed by Moroccan Chicken with sweet potatoes and saffron rice served with mint yoghurt and a wonderful soupy sauce on the side and the special of the day which was Chicken Tagine made with preserved lemons and olives and served with cous cous.
One thing we love about Middle Eastern / North African food is that it’s not complicated or fussy, just fresh ingredients and subtle spices used to their best advantage which is precisely what Moroccan chef, Abdul does so well at Zagora.
We shared all the dishes. The sardines were quite simply the best we’ve had in memory. The sausages were good though the dish was certainly improved by the wonderful tomato and bean accompaniment. The chicken wings were fine but again enhanced by a rich spicy tomato sauce.
It would be hard to find fault with any part of our main courses. Of course one would suppose the Moroccan Chicken to be first-rate but it still should be credited to living up to expectations. The Chicken Tagine, served in earthy clay pots, was a concoction of fall-off-the-bone chicken, preserved lemons and olives in a subtly spiced aromatic sauce – a real treat.
We drank Casablanca beer (brewed and bottled in Casablanca) with our starters and a pleasant Moroccan white with our mains. To finish we had Moroccan coffees and shared a dish of ice cream.
Over coffee we planned our next visit to Zagora keen to try their mezze - a spread of small dishes which includes salads, dips, breads, savoury pastries, grilled meats and vegetable dishes. The chef believes the best way to enjoy Moroccan food is to share everything and eat straight from the different dishes – in our experience he is spot on.
The bill came to £73.76 including service which was as impeccable as it was charming.
In conclusion Zagora is definitely worth a visit especially with a special someone – this place is a real recipe for romance.