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“It delivered....in quantity what it lacked in quality”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Dar Marjana

Dar Marjana
Ranked #113 of 857 Restaurants in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: African, Moroccan
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Families with children
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Description: The Riad dates back to the 18th century and it has been in the family since then. In 1982, the Riad was turned into a restaurant known as Dar Marjana and still stands strong today. We provide a variety of delicious Traditional Moroccan dishes, colorful, and tasteful due to the wonderful varieties of the Marrakchi spices! We assure the best service possible, in order to make one feel like home. During desert time, your eyes and ears will be captured by the great entertainment of Gnaouas and belly dancers which will leave you mesmerized. The atmosphere is ever so beautiful, with an ancient Moorish architectural style, a tiled and marbled fountain in the core of the house, and a grand patio garden, with the enchanting voice of a lutenist in the background.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“It delivered....in quantity what it lacked in quality”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2013

The title sums it up really. This restaurant has a vast family history of high quality authentic Moroccan fare and unfortunately failed to impress when we visited in September 2013.

The setting is undeniably beautiful with a shabby chic veneer that eludes to its rich culinary history and adds to its authenticity. We were led down a candlelit alley and welcomed onto the roof terrace. We had been reliably informed that the set menu here was voluminous to say the least and although all drinks were included in the hefty £65 6 course set menu that there was a "light" set menu available that was half the price and allowed you to buy drinks separately. We enquired about this on arrival and the staff were very reluctant to advertise this was available and provide a drinks menu. After a minute or two of faux confusion over what we were requesting eventually a drinks menu was provided and it appeared the price of drinks individually on top of the "light" menu would have far exceeded the cost of the full menu. We loosened our belts and prepared for battle.

After a 45minute interlude on the roof terrace to the soft lilts of the oud, we invited ourselves to dine downstairs as it appeared staff were in no rush to seat us. On arrival at the table we found the staff had spelt our names very carefully out in red sequins. Pushing a photo opportunity, we politely declined. Luckily my partner and I have been together a sufficient time to be able to do without name badges. A little cheesy and somewhat cheapening the high price tag.

Those who are not staying in a riad will enjoy the beautiful surroundings in the central courtyard dining room. Romantic lighting and scents of rose water and perfumed oils fill the room. There were several tables spaced around a central pool. Not too tightly packed but just cosy enough to be atmospheric. Booking definitely recommended if you decide this venue is for you however as there appears to be only one sitting and limited table numbers.

And so it began. One meal would have been enough for several. There were 8 starter plates, followed by three tagines, a cous cous course and several desserts. If volume was a marker of their hospitality then I suspect I was an honorary family member after this feast. What could have been a lovely delicate display of Moroccan cuisine at its simple finest was ruined by sheer volume. It all seemed to be rushed through to allow time for the entertainment.

A traditional tea service and belly dancing was to follow. Having been in other establishments throughout the city that had dancers, it was a welcome relief that each flick of the hip did not require a tip as the show was included in the price. After several glasses of wine all the males were invited to join in. A quick work out to allow more space for dessert.

Having said all that, the staff were very friendly and definitely an entertaining place to take younger family members, albeit an expensive night out for tiny mouths.

Very difficult to gauge whether this was true Moroccan flare or a touristy extravaganza. I suspect the latter.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Ashley L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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204 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Excellent”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2013

The setting was unique and very interesting! The food was quite good, wide choices to choose from. The entertainment provided was fun and added extra value! Excellent staff, loved the place. We sat in the outside area under the sky and it was blisssssss!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MNM479
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
79 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Magical space, service and entertainment for last night in Marrakech”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2013

This restaurant is set in what seems like an old mansion in the Medina. We sat outside by a small fountain with hundreds of candles apparently the only illumination. It really was magical on a summer's night. Food is a set menu that goes on and on. Bring an appetite. The small starters were delicate and refreshing, the pigeon pie was fabulous and we couldn't finish the very good lamb tagine. Just too much food... and thought traditional, maybe a little heavy for late night in summer. Whilst we dined a man played the oud and sang beautifully in Arabic. Very special. It got a little silly later with a couple of African singers followed later by a bellydancer. Seemed to take a very good night into an evening of tourist schmaltz. But others in the place were well into it. Including the obligatory audience participation. Total cost for two including a prodigious quantity of house wine was about 1500 dirham (I think that's about US$95 each). Money well spent. And the service was great. PS. Don't be put off by their very dowdy website.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Astronomer61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wakefield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
70 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Aladins cave in the middle of Marrakech”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2013

This dining experience was done via Thomson Holidays when we stayed at a Rui hotel just outside Marrakech.
The journey via taxi to the restaurant was quite daunting as it was near the center of the city down dark but crowded roads.
The restaurant itself was fantastic with a modern but traditional look and the food was different but very enjoyable, the entertainment during the meal was also very good and i would recommend this restaurant to everyone.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Darren R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Llantrisant, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
70 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Truly Wonderful”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 15, 2013

My wife and I visited as part of a Thomson excursion from the Riu Tikida Palmeraie. It was the highlight of the trip for my wife and the best evening we spent from the 11 nights we had in the whole of Morocco. We're so glad we went because it felt like a real authentic Moroccan experience. The setting was beautiful, the service was lovely, the 6 course banquet we had was every bit as tasty as it was large, the drink was fab and the entertainment of gnaoua music and belly dancers were brilliant. We can't thank the staff enough. We would have to recommend anyone that visits Marrakech to experience a Rhiad for an evening at least, and if they ended up in this one then their sure to have a wonderful time.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Adrian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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