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“Nothing special” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Dar Essalam

Dar Essalam
170, Riad Zitoune El Kedim, Marrakech, Morocco
+212 5244-43520
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Ranked #136 of 577 Restaurants in Marrakech
Price range: $12 - $50
Cuisines: African, Moroccan
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: The first moroccan restaurant in Marrakech since 1952 ,here Winston Churchill , charles trenet , alfred Hitchcock apreciated refinements of true moroccan cuisine, accompanied with arabic songs and oriental dancer.
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Nothing special”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

The first thing you notice is the decor - the entire restaurant from the entrance to the dining room are intricately decorated. I had high expectations for the food and the entertainment (belly dancing!) but walked away thinking "Eh, nothing special". The staff were attentive. The food was fine - very little flavor and nothing really that stood out from the various dishes we sampled. The entertainment was disappointing. The musicians were good. But, there were only two dancers - each probably danced for maybe 10 minutes. The first went around to each table after dancing offering to take pictures for a tip - actually a tip was expected regardless of whether you took a photo or not. The second dancer kept repeating moves over and over and was dressed so provocatively that I felt the she was there just to show off her body and not her dancing - but some might enjoy that. I left the restaurant wondering what the fuss was all about.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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brentwood
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Brilliant - had so much fun here!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

Our last night in amazing Marrakech and after eating with the Morrocans all week we thought we would try this place, where Hitchcock filmed 'The man who knew too much'. Its an incredible old palace, the waiters are fun, the entertainment superb, and the food great value - not haute cuisine but pretty good actually. The whole night cost just 250 Dirhams each plus wine. Yes its aimed at tourists but it was great! You must book a day or so in advance to be sure of a table. Definitely going back when next in Marrakech - and have already ordered the movie from Amazon as a souvenir :) .

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Wales
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“What a disappointing evening!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

I was really looking forward to an Saturday evening at Dar Essalam.
On entring the place you realise that it is old, dingy, out-of-date, when was it re-decorated and updated?
The welcome and the service were fine.
The carte was also outdated with supplements for nearly each dish - as it was done decades ago!
The food was ok but certainly not imaginative or refined, it was really basic and ordinary.
The entertainment was also basic, not much art or creativity on that front!
The clients, all foreigners, looked bored as there was no ambiance.
The photo on the website is rather misleading, wee did not eat in that room but had in a kind a long passage leading to a small room.
I would rather pay more for better and the choice in Marrakech is vast. I can't understand the glowing reports which made us pick that place, unless people have no possibility to compare it with other establishement. Glad we went, that is one place off our list!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“A Very Pleasant Surprise”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

As Part of an afternoon orientation in Marrakech we had lunch in this restaurant.

Having wandered the streets of the souk, this restaurant from the outside looks small but once down the impressive stairway the restaurant opens out into several very large rooms.

The prices are good and the food, we had tagine lamb, chicken and a mixture of vegetables, which were well cooked and presented in an authentic way on the very low tables, was very tasty.

Desert of fruit was welcome and complemented the atmosphere. Live music in the evening is also authentic, although may not be to everyone's taste.

All in all a good find.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Oslo, Norway
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“A bit touristy, but great food.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

If you want to get off the beaten track and can't stand all that touristy stuff, then you should probably go elsewhere.

If you however, don't mind that you are only dining with other tourists, and don't mind the show, the music and the belly dancers, then you should give it a try. We loved it.

PS! If you don't want the show, you have the option of dining in the quiet room ( where a scene from Hitchcock's "The man who knew too much" was shot )

I don't think that a place being touristy necessarily means its not authentic. I am no expert on Moroccan culture and history, but to me Dar Essalam felt very authentic, and it made me wonder what the visitors from Europe or other distant places felt when they visited places like this centuries ago.

This, however, would not matter if the food wasn't any good. Luckily, the food was great, and the slow cooked beef, the Tanjia with cumin and safran, was absolutely amazing, and by far the best meal of our Marrakesh days.

I would say that the place is well worth a visit!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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