Monday, November 02, 2009

Maison Blanche: a new restaurant in Fez

The View from Fez team sampled the fare at Maison Blanche this week, a new restaurant in the Ville Nouvelle.

This is a very swish place with ultra-modern decor of grey slate, lots of black and accents of shocking pink. Upstairs is a large bar area where you can have an aperitif.

The menu changes with the seasons and is overseen by French chef, Julien Louis. It features a smallish range of fusion food from the Mediterranean and Morocco which is beautifully presented.

Chef Julien Louis

Tempted with an amuse-bouche of a small mushroom vol-au-vent, the team went on to try a first course of Parma ham. Portions were generous - the ham came accompanied by antipasto and bruschetta. Main courses followed: dorade cooked to perfection and served with a lemony mousse-like sauce and a pretty tartlet filled with perfect al dente vegetables. The beef fillet was also cooked as ordered and came with a good jus, almond encrusted potatoes and a vegetable caponata.

Chocolate-lovers are well catered for in the dessert section with both a fondant and a nem-like creation of chocolate and bananas.

A few small criticisms: a lack of staff training was evident, and service with a smile would have been appreciated. Note that the degustation menu is only available if ordered for two people or more, a fact that isn't mentioned on the menu. Finally, for some reason it's not possible to have a glass of wine in the upstairs bar, where only champagne, liquors and cigars are served, despite a massive wine cellar in plain view.

The wine list is impressive here, with offerings from Europe as well as new world wines. It's also possible to have wine by the glass, a nice touch.

The team's meal for two, including a couple of glasses of wine each, came to Dh1050 before the tip.

chocolate to die for

Maison Blanche: 12 Rue Ahmed Chaouki, Fes Ville Nouvelle (opposite Hotel Jnan Palace).
Tel: 0535 622 727. Open for lunch and dinner from 19h30 daily except Monday.


Anonymous said...

Pas accessible à toutes les bourses!
Dommage que cela soit une cuisine élitiste pour clients fortunés...

Anonymous said...

I had dinner there last night. Really superb food, perhaps the best non-Moroccan food I've had in Fes. And yes, really expensive, but not more than what you pay at the fancy Moroccan places. You're right about the staff needing some training. I ordered a glass of wine with dinner and was horrified to see 80 dh on the bill. The waiter just assumed that I wanted the most expensive wine on the menu!

Anonymous said...

It might be similar to what you'd pay in other fancy places in Fez, but why is it more expensive than you'd pay in a reasonable restaurant in France?
And wine by the glass is Dh80 there, and a small amount too ... even if it's a local wine that costs Dh40 or Dh60 in a supermarket for a bottle. Of course restaurants have to have a substantial mark-up, but this seems excessive.

Anonymous said...

You're right, eating out in Fez is generally more expensive than in Paris, which seems crazy. It's also more than in Casa or Rabat. I think this is because there's not much competition here and because here middle-class people almost never go to restaurants, so it's a luxury for special occasions and for the rich. It's sort of like a few years ago the cheapest guest house in Fes was 280 euros, but now you can stay in a nice place for 60.

In defense of MB, it is the fanciest place in town, they've hired a chef from Paris, and they've spent a fortune on the decor and furnishings. I'm just not sure there are enough people who can afford to go there. If not, I'm sure they'll adjust their prices....but for now it is possible to go there and have a good meal for not too much if you're careful. Three of us spent less than 600 dh last week, but without wine.

Anonymous said...

Sounds very excessive and self conscious to me

Abdelhaq said...

Too expensive. The prices will come down insh'allah

Anonymous said...

We ate here this week:
- decor very modern, clean & fresh 5/5;
- service fairly efficient, but cold and they forgot our side order 3/5;
- food okay 3/5;
- prices extortionate relative to the quality 1/5.

In summary, for these prices the quality should be much better. I ordered the most expensive thing on the menu (steak with Fois gras). The meat was dry and a little tough and the Fois gras was overcooked so that it was dry.

Must do better, or reduce prices.

Overall 3/5