7a Doret Street (off Chiltern Street) Marylebone, London
Underground - Baker Street (also Marble Arch but it a longer walk from the Underground station).
Original Tangines is one of my favorite restaurants in London. The food is Moroccan and the atmosphere is subtle and comfortable. The table are mosaic with metal frames and lighting comes romantically from multi colored chandeliers and sconces. The walls are painted in an antiqued yellow ochre with the words arabic words painted on the walls which translate to be grateful to God for food. I know I am. The at Soft Moroccan music plays in the background. The restaurant can average from very quiet to slightly noisy if groups are dining here. Forget the cheesy Moroccan belly dancers you know from those Moroccan places in the states. This doesn't even come close.
The first time I dined at Original Tangines was last year and you can find that posting in my London archives. I hope tonights meal is as good. I really enjoyed it last year and attemped to come back but they were always full. Original Tangines also seems to be a place frequented by locals rather than the tourist trade.
Service here is simple and not pampering. They aren't overly friendly but they do get the job done. If this all seems too foreign, they also seem to be very helpful with menu suggestions
For my starter I order the hummus. OK, I know I can get hummus anywhere but it's soooo good. This dish was no exception. The hummus was served on a smal dish with drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika.
Most starters are in the £4 range.
Another one of my favorite things about Original Tangines is the Moroccan wine they serve by the glass. The red is actualy quite nice. I wish I could buy a bottle of this somewhere for the next time I make Moroccan at home. I've never tried the white. It's a great deal at £2.85 for a very generous sized glass.
For my main course I am having the chicken tangine which is a slow cooked dish with carrots, ginger and preserved lemons (£10.85). This is served with a dish of bulgar wheat which I love, love, love. The dish is served in a tagine (what else would you expect?) and looks beautiful when served. It inclides a chicken leg and thigh and is in a pool of flavoured broth with the preserved lemon and vegetables. This dish is not spicy but if you want to kick it up, add a bit of the spicy harrisa which is served on the side. Harissa is a hot spice mixture made from very hot chili peppers and spice.
I also ordered a small salad which was not what I expected. Instead of being a "green" salad it was a chopped mixture of cucumber, tomato and red peppers. I am sure most would like this but I am not a big cuke fan so I didn't enjoy this.
Other main courses include a number of different chicken, fish, lamb and couscous dishes. They also have a few veggie dishes for those who don't eat meat.
Main courses are in the £10 range.
For dessert they offer a number of sweets ranging from a flambe pear with ice cream to Moroccan pastries. My choice is the rice pudding with orange blossom flavouring (£4.50). I found this to be a bit lackluster. Maybe a sweet treat from the local market will satisfy you and save you a few pounds!
Desserts are in the £4.50 range.
The best way to end a authentic Moroccan meal is with sweet Moroccan mint tea (£2). The tea is a delicious and refreshing. It is made from fresh mint and poured from a silver pot high a top a small glass. Be careful the glass is HOT!
If you want to eat at Original Tangines be sure to make a reservation, otherwise arrive early while tables are still plentiful. There are only 8-10 tables here depending on how they are configured.
Original Tangines is probably one of my favorite restaurants in the world (yes) and I plan to eat here every time I am fortunate enough to visit London. I might even come back later in the week.
My total bill tonight was £29.26 (about $47) which was well worth it for the relaxing atmosphere and quality food. I give Original Tangines a high 4 (out of 5) hearts for delicious food and good wine! It may seem high but I did the full deal including wine, a side salad and tea. Eliminating these extras could reduce the bill by a decent percent. Besides it's the first time I've got to sit for an extended period today!
Original Tangines does allow smoking so beware, although I have to say it's not too bad because the tables aren't close and the air seems to move through enough to keep it light.
Original Tangines is also open for lunch and offers a 3 course set menu for £10.95.
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