Travel Thursday – 16/06/11: Best Restaurant You Have Visited

As anybody who knows me will testify, I love my food.  However, I am not a “foodie” as such, and certainly not a fan of “posh” food – I like proper portions of decent, well cooked, fresh and tasy dishes rather than things that look nice but leave you wondering when the rest of the meal is arriving.  That is reflected in the kinds of restaurants I tend to seek out when I travel. A Michelin rating is not necessarily a selling point in my world, I prefer to find local food that, yes, is tasty but is also filling (sightseeing tends to stimulate the appetite somewhat) and is served in enjoyable, relaxing surroundings.

Probably the best all round is the La Sqala restaurant in Casablanca, Morocco.  Generally, we were quite disappointed with the food during our trip to Morocco. We had read so many great things about it but a lot of what we ate was rather bland, with little variety.  Yet there were some notable exceptions, most memorably La Sqala.  Situated inside the stone walls of the old fort close to the port area, it simply ticked every box for me.  The surroundings were beautiful, tree-shaded tables in a sheltered garden setting, lit by candles and lanterns.  The food was a mixture of Moroccan and international, but we ate local, the best we discovered during our trip. It was everything I love so much about North African / Middle Eastern cooking – delicious, delicately spiced grilled meats, fresh mouthwatering salads, lovely bread and dips, a real feast.

All in all, a perfect evening!

Right at the end of our trip, we decided to return to the restaurant on our last night in Morocco.  Turned out to be a mistake – while the food was equally good, they were absolutely rammed, with customers squeezed in everywhere, and the service was lamentable as a result.  Kind of tarnished our image of the place, but looking back now, it is the superb first visit that sticks more in the mind.

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