Inside Morocco - A New Dinner Experience, On The Chopping Board

On The Chopping Board (OTCB) was recently invited to check out Stepney’s newest cafe, Inside Morocco, to taste their exclusive Moroccan Experience dinner menu. All food and drinks were provided on behalf of Inside Morocco. 

Nestled amongst a popular shopping strip on Magill Road, Inside Morocco originally opened as a homewares store selling unique imported products such as ceramics, jewellery, wall hangings, mirrors and even woven baskets - all 100% handmade in Morocco. However, when customers started to ask owner Med Ghanmi why they didn’t serve food as well, it got him thinking. Since then, Inside Morocco has transformed to include an exciting breakfast and lunch café and function space to become the ultimate destination for everything Moroccan in Adelaide. 

As well as catering for large events held in-store such as birthdays, weddings and other group functions, Inside Morocco also opens for dinner for group bookings of 10 or more people and offers their Moroccan Experience menu - the main reason for our visit! 

To start off our meal, chef Tamika Wright brought out a colourful dip platter which included a pumpkin and walnut dip with Moroccan spices and a bowl of Zaalouk - a tomato and eggplant dip with lemon, cumin and paprika. The dips were served with fresh carrot, celery and capsicum, as well as pita bread crisps. Both of the dips were full of flavour, although the Zaalouk would have to be our favourite because of the subtle smoky flavour and great texture throughout.

As we sit amongst vibrant Moroccan cushions, the amazing scent of slow cooked tagines is coming from the kitchen, and we can’t wait to taste what Med and Tamika have prepared for us. Med brought out two of his favourite tagines for us to try, a chicken tagine with preserved lemon and potato, and lamb tagine with sweet prunes, almonds and sesame seeds.

The first thing we noticed about the chicken tagine was how beautifully the chicken itself was cooked. The chicken pieces were extremely tender and moist, having taken on the subtle flavours of the sauce through the slow cooking process. The potatoes were also well cooked, soft but still with a little texture to them so that they didn’t fall apart. Preserved lemon can often be an overpowering flavour in a dish and therefore not often a preferred ingredient amongst many. However, the balance of preserved lemon and other Moroccan spices in this tagine was perfect, and I’m assured that this dish is a real crowd pleaser at events!

Med then lifts the lid of the lamb tagine with sweet prunes, almonds and sesame seeds as he explains to us that this is the national dish of Morocco, and is particularly special to him for this reason. Again, the lamb is so perfectly cooked and begins to fall apart as I cut into it. This tagine is also subtle in flavour like the chicken tagine, but is slightly sweeter thanks to the prunes, and has some great crunch from the toasted almonds that have been scattered throughout.

The tagines are served with a generous amount of fluffy couscous and warm Turkish bread to soak up the moreish juices that are left behind. The salad of lettuce, cucumber, tomato, alfalfa sprouts and feta provided some great freshness on our plate.

Overall, we were very impressed by the quality and flavour in each dish so far at Inside Morocco. The amount of passion that has gone into the making of these tagines is very clear, confirming that food made with love always does taste better! 

As part of the Moroccan Experience dinner, guests are able to choose from freshly baked cakes that are made in house. Just when we think we couldn’t possibly eat any more, Tamika brings out two cakes she has just finished making - a baked gingernut cheesecake with caramel apples, and a pear and raspberry syrup cake.

The gingernut biscuit base to the baked cheesecake was a crunchy and delicious foundation for the smooth, rich filling. The caramel apples that sat atop the filling were surprisingly not too sweet, and were a great addition to a classic dessert. Still warm from the oven, the pear and raspberry syrup cake had a velvety soft texture and slight tartness from the raspberries. 

Guests are also normally offered a fruit platter to accompany their dessert, although we didn’t try this on our visit. Inside Morocco are able to change up their dinner menu to suit personal preferences, dietary requirements and allergies. Instead of two meat based tagines, guests are able to choose seafood tagines and vegetarian options that are also available.

The Moroccan Experience menu is offered for $50 per head, and is definitely good value for money for the generous serving sizes, spectacular quality of the food, beautiful atmosphere amongst the Moroccan homewares and outstanding service. We will definitely be back to try Inside Morocco's breakfast and lunch menu sometime soon!

Raina Hunter