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“Pretentious but great”
Review of La Cour des Lions

La Cour des Lions
Ranked #127 of 874 Restaurants in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $35 - $70
Cuisines: Moroccan
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Local cuisine, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: La Cour des Lions is a Moroccan gastronomic restaurant, located on the 3rd floor of the Palace Es Saadi. The Bauchet-Bouhlal family and the Chef Fatéma Hal, famous ambassador of Moroccan gastronomy, invite you to an unforgettable gustative journey through a Moroccan but forgotten cuisine. Succumb to the true Mourouzia’s flavours, long simmered lamb shank with raisins, juice of dates and the sublime Es Saadi Ras El Hanout spice mix: a succulent salty sweet union!
Level 6 Contributor
122 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Pretentious but great”
Reviewed December 21, 2012

We booked a table here during our recent rip to celebrate my wife's birthday. The night before we had eaten at a stall on the main square in the Medina, and for the last evening I thought it might be appropriate to go for somewhere a bit more upscale, which this certainly was.

We chose from the Carte Creation, which takes local produce and applies the kind of over the top presentation that you'd have found in France about five years ago. There are some daft combinations - raspberries in the gazpacho, carrot and tomato with the dessert, but ignoring those it's really good. The grapefruit jelly with raw prawns worked really well, for example, and the aubergine puree I had with my starter was mindblowing. Overall, the style is refined French Haute Cuisine applied to local ingredients and flavours, and it works very well.

Service was discreet but very attentive; being a Wednesday in December we were the only folks there however the staff clearly knew what they were doing and I have a feeling it would have been just as good if they were full.

Good value, too, apart from the £20 a glass for standard non-vintage champagne

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank berkshire_nomads
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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185 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Danish first
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Excellent food and service”
Reviewed December 16, 2012 via mobile

Visited the restaurant mainl due to its proximity to where we were staying (hivernage) and its Michelin star.
Did not disappoint, excellent menu, chefs degustation, and good service. Try it!

Thank Paul M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“the best food in Marrakech”
Reviewed August 14, 2012

Michelin starred food in a fantastic setting
service was very good with beautiful music playing in the background
fusion food and Moroccan food served and cooked to perfection
why this is ranked where it is i will never know
i know quality when i see and taste it and this had it in abundance.
i must for any food lover visiting Marrakech.
a three minute £2 taxi ride from the main square the best money you will ever spend.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Middlesfarm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Deeply disappointed despite the excellent critics on this site”
Reviewed November 7, 2011

Having read the other reviews, I was looking forward to the highlight of our stay in Marrakech, but was deeply dissapointed after having the modern-style menu. A few things that I really wish to share if you consider coming here, as well as with the Chef:

Food: The plates look very elaborate indeed, but some combinations just don't fly. Incorporating raspberries in a scallop bouillabaisse (with aspargus, sun dried tomatoes, etc etc) simply doesn't work in terms of taste. Same applies for mixing strawberries and fish. I have no problem with unusual pairings, but these seemed to be done in order to impress rather than for the sake of taste. (Another less important thing; the plates filled with glasses, narrow jars, cups and bowls : 1) it is not practical to eat and 2) visually, it might have been cool in the 90's but not anymore

The main course fish was the absolute low point of our dinner; rarely have I seen a piece of fish so overcooked. Even pouring over the accompanying lamb sauce (in a litte saucer of course), did not help. I found it sad to mess up a fine piece of fish and and a shame for the Chef to send out such a piece. Anyway, I think he must have been embarassed when he saw the plate coming back and we were offered a desert we could'nt choose. Whilst I appreciated this somewhat strange gesture, again the quality did not make up for the rest of the meal.

Setting: The ceiling is impressive & beautiful, but a few changes could improve the atmosphere. Plain white walls, very few tables, no carpets or draperies and pvc windows frames are not a guarantee for a cosy atmosphere at all. Quite the opposite from the Mamounia, where the recent renovation is an absolute gem. Tastes differ, but the gold leaf & crocodile leather chairs on which you might sit, are worthy of the palace of an African dictator or a Russion billionaire... Overall, the decoration of the hotel seems to be from the eighties and could used a facelift.

Service: When different waiters ask you the same questions in between courses, it is not their fault, it is just bad organisation. We were more annoyed to hear that half of the dishes (2 out of 4) we had ordered beforehand, were not available that day (telling in advance is something you could expect in a place like this). We ordered two other things; first courses were correct, but they messed up the main courses. The odd maître d tried his best to appear sympathetic, but seemed more interested to literally sit down with regular guest and have a chat with them.

All in all, we thought it would have been a shame to go to such place in order to eat the same traditional dishes (although arguably of superior quality) as you can in every restaurant in town, but our choice for the modern-style menu was probably the worst idea we had in months.

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
9 Thank anonymousAalst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Amazing food and excellent service”
Reviewed November 3, 2011

Starter soup "harira", as well as my girlfriend's main dish " le couscous cour de lion" ( royal), and my main dish, lamb shank tajine was delicious and the meat literally falling off the bone. Service is excellent, not pushy but enough to look to the side when you need something and they come to you. Definiyely recommend it. Prices are what you would expect to pay in a good restaurant. Not expensive, it just costs a lot of money, but definitely get what you pay for.

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Fofofofa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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