The Medina acts as the heart of Marrakech, with its incredible Aladdin’s cave style winding passages, laced with everything to stimulate the senses. From the finest artisans, leathers, spices, jewels and gems. The colourful palette within the Medina teamed with an abundance of wonderful fragrances like fresh mint, pungent saffron and sweet dates enhance the souk experience. With so many things to discover, at some point you need to rest your legs, appreciate your beautiful purchases and soak up the Marrakech backdrop. That perfect idyll comes in the form of Restaurant Nomad. Nestled in an unassuming corner of the spice market, it can almost be missed, but definitely worth finding. I happened to stumble upon it, on a quick Medina dash to pick up some essential home accents. I try to stay away from the Medina, as quick dashes often lead to hours of shopping, with very empty pockets at the end. But a girl has to eat, take a load off and contemplate what else I “need” before heading home.
I entered the doors and began my Nomadic experience. I was greeted by the Nomad store, perfectly curated with spices, oils and crafted essential homeware accents. The store creates a nice marriage between Moroccan and Modern, with a fresh, rustic interior, minimal design and simplistic yet stylish packaging and presentation. A nice contrast from the eclectic colour palette found in the souks. After trying to resist temptation, I caved in and picked up a few tea cups. The monochromatic zigzag print gave me an essence of 1960’s Edie Sedgewick, the perfect accoutrement to my previous purchases.
I quickly headed upstairs, passing the open kitchen with the Chefs hard at work, and smells that no one could resist. A friendly face welcomed me, within an interior of soft neutral furnishings with pops of colour. With the option for enclosed dining or on the terrace, I opted for the terrace….after all, we are in Marrakech!
Seated in an oasis of sumptuous beige linen sofas, teamed with zigzag accents which continued from the Nomad store and rustic lighting fixtures, I prayed the food lived up to the décor. Think New York rooftop meets Marrakech. A perfectly polished waiter quickly arrived, and with a smile handed me the menu. Not a fan of Lamb, I was coaxed into trying the Lamb Tagine, and just to be safe I also ordered the Chicken Tagine. Living in Marrakech, I really didn’t picture the Tagine tasting any different to what I had eaten before, but boy was I surprised. With large portion sizes and beautiful presentation, it became evident that Nomad made a conscience effort in creating a modern infusion within traditional cuisine. My lemon infused Chicken Tagine was dressed with fresh vegetables, a side of pesto and pepper tomato dressing teamed with a light bed of couscous made it food heaven. The lamb shank was so tender, beautifully spiced and cooked to perfection, opting for a couscous side as oppose to the Farro, I have now officially become a lamb convert.
My time at Nomad was a breath of fresh air, professional and extremely friendly and attentive staff, incredible food at an affordable price and a sumptuous setting with picturesque backdrop, makes Nomad my official new love in Marrakech!
By Ingrid Asoni