Tagine Restaurant in Glyfada, is a Moroccan dining experience that one should definitely try. When it comes to story telling, great food and an authentic environment, this is the place to be. On Monday night myself and 3 other members of Travel Bloggers Greece – Eleanna of Foodaki, Chrysoula of Travel Passionate and Maria of Maria Carras Creative, were invited on a Moroccan food journey in the heart of the Athenian Riviera.
Our host Kareem welcomed us in his new restaurant and shared with us the little secrets of what makes Tagine so special. Kareem cooks from the heart, and he has a passion for his business, which is something you can tell from the moment you meet Kareem. He is also a very talented story teller which makes the whole dining experience an even greater journey. You learn during the process of your meal experience and when you leave, you feel like you have gained new perspectives that have opened up the horizons of your mind. Meet Kareem and you will mark my words.
We started our dinner with learning about the art of Moroccan tea drinking, which is a much-loved tradition that signifies hospitality and friendship. Kareem let us in on a little secret, offering us a treat that has quite a remarkable story. There is a type of sugar that is actually an alternative to sugar and which only wealthy Arabs can afford to buy because of the price tag on this rare product which is especially used by people with diabetes. This sugar is called “Tears of Life” and it comes from a tree that is found on the borders of Afganistan, that produces 5 different fruit types. What you do is take a piece of this sugar, place it in your mouth and then drink the mint tea in order to get the flavours on your palate. A very unique experience indeed.
The feast then continued with a selection of salads and dips known as mezze: Mutabal, a spicy dip made from eggplants, Taboule which is originally a Syrian/ Lebanese recipe which is served on lettuce leaves for flavour and digestion purposes, Hummus made from chickpeas, Arabic salad which is marinated with three different spices, pomegranate, lemon, balsamic vinegar and rice vinegar.
You must also try Kareem’s falafel prepared from 14 ingredients, 7 of which are spices and 7 are fresh ingredients. Kareem only listed a few, not to disclose all his secrets, so what we could make out was that some of the ingredients are: chickpeas, garlic, parsley, onions, small leaf parsley and wild ginger. But the whole secret lies in the spices!
The ingredients are marinated for 20 hours before they are served. The falafel is topped with Kareem’s signature tahini sauce. Are you hungry yet?
No meal is complete without the traditional Tagine dish which is a slow-cooked savoury stew served in a traditional tajine pot that consists of two units, the base which is flat and circular and a large cone cover that sits on the base during the cooking process.
We had the beef with prunes and almonds, but there is also other meet or fish dishes that you can order. Next came the famous couscous served with lamb and fresh organic vegetables.
The final touch was the special dessert called Kunafeh is a cheese pastry soaked in sweet sugar-based syrup, with a touch of rose water and other secret ingredients that you must definitely try.
Have you tried Moroccan cuisine before? Whether yes or no is your answer, a Tagine experience should be on your to-do list.
Tagine Restaurant: 28 Laodikis Str., Glyfada, Athens Tel: +30 2108983675-6