About a 1&1/2 years ago, a friend of mine said, "have you been to Zinc in Sidi Ghanem, you must go there the food is excellent and its really Packed". My first reaction was "what is a good restaurant doing in the industrial zone of Marrakech"? Curiosity killed the cat but the minute I walked into Zinc I totally got it what all the fuss was about.
Since then I go as much as I can get the time. I prefer lunch in general over dinner but even in the evening after all the factories and boutique shops, artists and retailers are closed Zinc is buzzing with the socialites and foodies of Marrakech to Dj beats or live entertainment.
Chef/patron extraordinaire Damien Durrand has opened up a great informal bistro serving delicious modern interpretations of French Cuisine with a twist "a la Damien".
What really sets Le Zinc apart from anything else in Marrakech is Damien's value based set menu lunch and dinners. They are the most adventurous and creative menus at this price point anywhere and out of the dozens of times me, my family or friends have eaten here we've never had a bad meal.
Most lunches are packed with "Frenchies" locals and ex-pats fiercely maintaining the reputation of the French long lunch break. Theres just one set menu for lunch and dinner (no a la carte) chalked up on a black board that changes every lunch and dinner daily to ensure freshness and to keep things interesting for the regulars.
Damien is always playing with textures and flavours in the food and all the dishes are appetising to the eye and on the palate.
I was there for another great lunch this week with "the missus".
Damien greeted us on arrival like he does with everyone. I had "Crustiant de Chevre" the missus had Salmon and Basil Spring Rolls. My goats cheese starter was served warm wrapped in a light thin crispy pastry dough together with a nice leaf salad and some aubergine caviar that had a slight curry taste and silky texture. The salad had a good balsamic vinaigrette which cut the rich and pungent Goats Cheese perfectly Yum, Yum. The Salmon Spring rolls were equally good and polished off in no time. Next up Veal Picatta and Pan-fried fillet of Sea Bass. The Veal was nicely breaded and pan-fried served on top of sauteed vegetable strips and pureed potatoes. A light Jus was drizzled on the plate and grated lemon zest lifted the whole dish to a different level. The fish was cooked perfectly and came with the same veg but with a basil sauce that not only looked great but tasted even better.
The "missus" was full but I wasn't done yet. It was a tight call between the Pain Perdu with Caramelised Apples or the Pear Tart Tatin with Ice-cream. It was the hardest decision of the day but in the end I was in the mood for a Tatin and Ice-cream. The pears were cooked perfectly and made a nice change to apples. Everything was washed down with some very quaffable local Rose and I had a Cognac to celebrate the end of the working week.
So as my friend once said, If you haven't been to Zinc you have to check it out, the food is delicious and its packed. Its a small journey to pay for excellent value and perfectly cooked creative food.
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