Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Pearl of Asilah

Imagine fine French dining in a small Moroccan beach town. This hidden gem, La Perle, is the newest restaurant in Asilah... and everyone is talking about it. Word is getting around and it won’t be long before the rest of Europe starts to hear about it too. The patron, a local Moroccan who has been living abroad in Ireland has returned with his partner (who is Irish) to open up La Perle. The food was amazing and the service impeccable. We were really impressed. It was one of the most memorable meals I had on my trip, including Paris.

The appetizers really stood out for me. The avocodo and shrimp salad I was told was very fresh. (I am sadly allergic to avocado) William had a pesto pasta starter which literarly melted our faces off. It's hard to explain but it was so smooth and creamy (without being milky or heavy) and literally all we could say was that our faces were falling off. I ordered a fish soup, which blew my mind. It had a very intense and wonderful flavour, made with local fish and spices. Most importantly it was the perfect temperature. I mean perfect. The kind of warm that is not too hot to the touch or to ingest but warms you intensely in the inside. It was fantastic. A very traditional French roué (like aoli), cheese and small toasts accompanied the soup.

The mains where also very good. Sarra and Mehdi had the special bonito tuna dish, which was very unique and dense in texture. William had the bird dish, I’m not sure if any of us knew exactly what bird but it was small not unlike a Cornish hen. It was very tender and juicy as in swam in a lovely brown sauce. I had the John Dory fish dish, which was very interesting. The fish itself was nice and simple, again a meatier texture than most white fish that I’ve tried, but the sauce was decadent to say the least. It was in a creamy and very French sauce, which really brought the dish to life. The flavour was intense and rich but it didn’t push me over the edge. Very good. We finished off with a few decadent mini macarons that were house made by the chef. Watch out Ladurée, these babies were bad!

The prices are very reasonable. You could never get this level of food in Paris or New York at those prices. It was really impressive. We had a wonderful lunch, no cell phones, no interruptions, just great conversation over wonderful food. 

La Perle
Rue Allal Ben Abd Allah
Asilah, Morocco

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