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“felt like being on a conveyor belt” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Gastro MK at Maison MK

Gastro MK at Maison MK
14 Derb Lafkih Sbaai | Quartier Luksour, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
+212 5243-76173
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Ranked #1 of 529 restaurants in Marrakech
Price range: $74 - $74
Cuisines: European, French, Moroccan, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Delivery, Late Night
Description: Fine-dining restaurant at boutique hotel maison mk. Open to internal & external guests for dinner.
london
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“felt like being on a conveyor belt”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

we just spent 4 days in marrakech and we decided to have a meal at Gastro MK for our last night's meal to celebrate our anniversary.
i regret to say that i was a little disappointed.
The food was delicious but it was completely lacking in any atmosphere.
(the previous night we ate at stall No 14 in the main square and our whole meal including drinks came to 65 dirhams, £5! and the atmosphere was like nothing i had experienced. very memorable)
the problem with Gastro MK is that they are just trying that bit too hard.
Our meal was £75 per head including 5 courses, wine and pre-dinner drink.
All diners were shepherded downstairs from the roof terrace at 8pm and we were told that the meal would take exactly 2hr 15mins. not 2hrs 10mins and not 2hrs 20mins!
Everyone's food came out together, one table at a time. by the third course it was a source of much amusement as the waiters explained to each diner what they were eating, table after table.
I joked to my wife that we will probably be picked up by a metal grabbing device that descends from the ceiling at the end of the meal and get deposited out onto the street, exactly 2hrs 15mins after starting eating.
If money is no object then give this place a go but if you want value for money and a friendly buzz then there are plenty of better places in Marrakech

  • Visited November 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paul_at_maisonMK, Owner at Gastro MK at Maison MK, responded to this review, November 27, 2013
Hi Schmall1. Thanks for the review, which did make me smile (not the 3 stars part !). I am sorry that you didn’t feel that the evening was suitable for you. Many people come to gastro mk precisely for the atmosphere and for the quality of the meal. Your situation is very typical where clients are staying in bigger hotels (often outside of the ancient medina) and they come to us for a special meal – birthdays, proposals, anniversaries, etc - while they are in Marrakech. Usually they love the romantic, sophisticated atmosphere of the riad, so I am sorry that you were not ‘feeling’ it !

It is hard to comment on the price differential between the market stall in the square and the price of a 5 course sophisticated tasting menu at a top restaurant – totally different situations and we encourage our own very foodie guests to experience both and they love it. The riad next door to us is 5 euros per night, ours is 300 & 400 euros per night – but both can be good value, it just depends what you look for in a room, or in a meal.

You mention that you are ‘shepherded downstairs’ so I am guessing that you were already finding that you were not in the mood before the meal even started. As you know, when you arrive we give you a little tour of the riad (most people love to ‘nosey’ around other places so if all our rooms are not filled then people usually like to see one as its so different to even other riads in the medina) and then bring you up to the lovely candlelit roof terrace for canapés and drinks. Dinner service starts around 8pm so the waiters will bring each couple, individually, down to the dining room (carrying their drinks for them) and show them to their preferred table (however, if a few tables are already talking together then they might come together.) We couldn’t cope with everyone coming together nor do we want to do it that way. I am sorry that you felt shepherded – I am not sure how we could change the process to show you to your table (but please feel free to get in touch with any ideas that you have).

When the waiter says it takes 2 hours 15 minutes, its because we do know roughly how long the service takes. We have spent a lot of time over the past 3 years and 9000 meals to find a pace of meal that suits 95% of people. We know that all couples are different, but between 2 hours and 2 ½ hours tends to be about right. However, please remember that, while our staff speak great English, they are Moroccan & speak Arabic first, and French second, and English third. So, in England, a waiter would say ‘the meal typically takes about two, or two and a quarter hours, approximately, just so that you know’, perhaps a little is just lost in the sophisticated translation when the waiter said it would take ‘two and a quarter hours’. We also have various guests that are getting shuttle busses back to their hotels, or want to book taxis in advance, so we do find that guests generally like to know roughly what time they will be finished. Most people really appreciate that we can do that.

We do serve a set 5 course tasting menu, and we have a maximum of 14 guests for dinner so there is bound to be some repetition of what dishes are being presented. But each table is an individual setting and it is important that every table has each dish explained & it is a time that many guests use to ask more questions from the waiters about the food. It is also why Omar, the head chef comes out to every table every night to ask how the food was & to answer many questions – people generally like to have this individual service, even if it is repetitive, that he comes to every table.

I am a little sorry for the waiters that the guests were laughing at them - you have no idea how much our staff want to please so very much – I was pleased actually to see that it didn’t put them off! Sounds like an unusual night but I’m glad you could find some solace in it by amusing the other tables who were also so lovely to have fun with you too. We do hope to create a nicely informal atmosphere and we do like our guests to chat to each other.

We do want each and every guest to have a great time, so please accept my apologies that you found that the atmosphere was not good for you on that evening. But, on the bright side, I am glad that you found the food delicious, and I hope you had a lovely holiday in Marrakech overall.

Regards
Paul (owner)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Good but not worth premium price”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

Food was ok but main course which was duck was very heavy and we expected much better quality for the money. Place is very small and we were sat next to four very loud people who talked about money and sex conquests all night which ruined our evening . Whilst we know the restaurant cannot control who frequents them we would expect them to intervene and ask people to respect all the other clients who were clearly uncomfortable with this party .There were plenty of tables empty so not sure why we were placed where we were . A lot of money for a romantic evening that unfortunately didn't happen . We wouldn't recommend . Go for mid range Moroccan and spend the same money for amazing cuisine once back in the uk .

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paul_at_maisonMK, Owner at Gastro MK at Maison MK, responded to this review, November 27, 2013
Hi Critical_TravellerUK (slightly worried about the name already !). Thanks for the review about gastro mk – it looks like you didn’t have a particularly enjoyable time in Marrakech giving your hotel only 2 stars & the only other review was us with 3 stars. (although your average review throughout the world is only 3 stars so perhaps we did ok !!)

I am glad however that you generally found us good & that you liked most of the food. Sorry that the duck was not to your taste, most clients like that main course a lot, so its unusual to see it described as heavy.

Yes we are a small restaurant – just 14 places each evening spread between a dining room, a private dining room, and 2 poolside tables. I am very sorry that the table of 4 (and their sex conquest discussion) spoiled your evening – if you had mentioned it to the waiter I am sure he would have had a word with them to keep the noise down a little. Otherwise he could have moved you , people do ask and we are happy to oblige if there is a table . Sadly tables are left free like that when we have a no-show or a last minute cancellation and whilst we take a waitlist it’s often too late to fill the table.

As you can imagine, just like in any restaurant, it is important to find a balance between letting people enjoy themselves but also having guests respect the other guests. This is why we tend to have a maximum group size of 4 or 5 people at gastro mk because tables of 6 can easily get noisy & take over the room. We take an inordinate amount of care at the booking stage, and also on the evening, to set the room accordingly but no-shows sometimes just throw another spanner in the works! It is unusual to have a noisy table of four & I am sorry that it ruined your evening. In future, and a note to all other readers, if there are any problems or requests or changes, please just mention it to the waiter & let him sort it out for you.

Regards,
Paul (owner)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brampton, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“So good we did it twice!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

We stayed at Maison MK and had booked to eat on our first night at Gastro MK before arriving. We enjoyed the meal so much, we repeated the experience on our last night! The food was superb, the service outstanding (all staff were very attentive) and the general experience very relaxing. We thought the timing of the meal was spot on - we didn't feel rushed at all. We liked the visit from Omar, the chef, at the end of each meal and the general setting of the whole evening was wonderful.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 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.
UK
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Good - not great”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

We ate here on our third night in Marrakech. We had read a lot of the reviews about the restaurant and it sounded something special. First of all we would like to say that the meal was very good and the surroundings were excellent. The service was good and attentive without being overbearing. It was, however, a very expensive night out costing us nearly GBP200 in total for two people (including 1 bottle house wine) For these kind of prices standards need to be high in all aspects. There was a disappointment in being encouraged to come along at 7pm for the 'canapés on the rooftop terrace'. We duly arrived at around 7pm and the terrace was indeed stunning. However, canapés didn't actually arrive until around 7:55pm and we felt that the invitation had been aimed more at inviting us to buy some expensive drinks for an hour rather than to enjoy a selection of canapés from a top class chef. I think a complimentary drink on arrival would have been a nice touch. When the canapés did arrive they comprised a shot glass of cucumber gazpaccio (very nice) and a 2cm square piece of toast with goat's cheese on the top. Like a rather disappointing piece of art, I was left with the feeling that I could have very easily created that myself. The meal was very good and the chef clearly knows his stuff. I think that the shredded chicken pastilla followed by the shredded duck was a little repetitive but the tastes were intense and very well put together. The pre-dessert and dessert were particularly lovely. It was basically a tasting menu but somewhat restricted in range. We all ate at the same time, had exactly the same dishes (apart from a selection of 3 courses for the mains) and all customers finished at exactly the same time (we were told on arrival that the meal would be 2hrs 15 mins and it was that to the minute!). I understand why this has to be the case but we felt that we had paid a fairly hefty price without some of the usual perks associated with these kind of price ranges (greater freedom of choice and time). The chef came and spoke to us after the meal to ask our views and we felt that was a nice touch. Probably wouldn't go again ourselves but worth a try for the lovely ambience at the Riyadh, the good service and a good chef.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paul_at_maisonMK, Owner at Gastro MK at Maison MK, responded to this review, November 27, 2013
Hi Jaycee – thanks for the detailed review. I was just reading through it line by line & it does seem that you really liked most things – meal very good, surroundings excellent, service good & attentive, intense tastes, well put together, good chef, etc, etc. For tripadvisor, 4 stars means ‘good’ so perhaps 3 stars feels like we were slightly under-marked by a star! (although we are continually disappointed with 4 stars or less because we always aim for 5 stars !). It seems like the price was the only negative for you.

To comment on a few points…

I am not sure what you ordered to get your bill up to £200. Dinner is £50 per person, wines are typically £20 per bottle. house wine is £17, and cocktails are £7.50. Certainly we are not cheap, but we have always focused on quality, are a fair price, & never set out to offer budget meals. I certainly agree with you that, at the prices we charge, standards need to be high. It is the same in the riad, maison mk, where we charge 300 and 400 euros per night – if we charge those prices, we have to deliver accordingly. Thankfully, most people say that we offer good value.

Canapés at 7.55 – this should not have happened. We do say to people that they can come any time between 7pm & 8pm to have a drink on the terrace (or not) as its unusual to have an alcohol licence at a riad in the medina so you can drink in peace without the fear of being raided by police and kicked out! We know our roof terrace is loved by many and we are in a great position in the best neighbourhood so it’s meant to be a positive, not a negative thing when we invite you to the enjoy the roof terrace with the maison mk guests before your meal!

We say in advance that pre-dinner canapés are generally served about 7.30pm = we now say between 7.30 and 8pm (thank-you to you) as not everyone gets to us on time. I am not sure what the delay was that night (remember that it is very hard for us owners to know when somebody came because we have no dates, no proper names, etc but we get a record of everything each night), but please accept my apologies for the late arrival of the canapés. (We are also changing the canapés at the moment to make them more unusual, luxurious, and intense – watch this space…)

Certainly there is no plan to ‘sell drinks’ to clients – most choose to have a drink, some choose not to . It is true that drinks are not cheap – we are very fortunate that the authorities allow us to serve alcohol in a Muslim country, but duty & taxes are very high & this is the reason that drinks prices are generally in line with London prices.

Two hours 15 minutes . Another review mentioned that they were told it would be exactly 2 hours and 15 minutes. Here is what I explained to them…” When the waiter says it takes 2 hours 15 minutes, its because we do know roughly how long the service takes. We have spent a lot of time over the past 3 years and 9000 meals to find a pace of meal that suits 95% of people. We know that all couples are different, but between 2 hours and 2 ½ hours tends to be about right. However, please remember that, while our staff speak great English, they are Moroccan & speak Arabic first, and French second, and English third. So, in England, a waiter would say ‘the meal typically takes about two, or two and a quarter hours, approximately, just so that you know’ , perhaps a little is just lost in the sophisticated translation when the waiter said it would take ‘two and a quarter hours’. We also have various guests that are getting shuttle busses back to their hotels, or want to book taxis in advance, so we do find that guests generally like to know roughly what time they will be finished.”

So, Jaycee, I know it’s a long answer to your comments, but I know that people like to read the reviews of 1 star, 2 star, and 3 stars (so do I – they are always the most interesting, and sometimes humourous!), so it is important to explain why some things happen in the way that they do. And just as important to say sorry when things go wrong, as they occasionally do! We have learned so much from people’s comments on Tripadvisor over the past 3 years & being number one for the entire 3 years does not mean that we take anything for granted, we are always looking to learn and improve. We appreciate all your comments and are actually working on several of them at the moment.

Regards,
Paul (owner)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Our best meal all vacation!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013 via mobile

Our experience here was top notch. We were greeted and escorted to a rooftop where we were privately seated to enjoy drinks and an amuse bouche from the chef. It was all too romantic and perfect to be there with my friend and not a date, but fabulous none the less. From there we were taken back inside to be seated overlooking a beautiful indoor pool for our coursed meal. The meal included all fresh, local ingredients with traditional flavors but a contemporary spin and concept. Everything was delicious and the service could not have been better. I highly recommend Gastro MK and hope to find my way back in the future!

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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