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Sophisticated versions of rustic Berber dishes are created by Chris Bower (a chef with Michelin-starred credentials) at this new addition to Golborne Road’s little Moroccan enclave. The ambitious menu incorporates an extensive carte, a compact evening ‘market menu’, and a brisk ‘working lunch’ – as well as Sunday brunch and daily afternoon tea. Mouth-watering starters include smoked octopus with merguez sausages, or juicy quails with a refreshing carrot and sultana slaw. Silky-fresh scallops in a chermoula marinade of lemon, coriander and garlic are elegantly presented alongside chickpeas infused with cumin. To follow, you’ll find familiar tagines such as poussin with preserved lemons and green olives, but we recommend the delicious whole sea bass cunningly de-boned and served on a wooden platter in a paper case. Short rib of Sussex beef is pepped with spices, onion, prune and sesame, while vegetarians can tuck into an on-trend citrusy salad of beetroot and squash with quinoa, goats’ cheese, pistachio and pomegranate. Desserts owe more to a Michelin-star kitchen than nomadic tribesmen, but who can resist raspberry clafoutis or chocolate delice with ice cream? Zayane’s cosy interior adds to the appeal, with a colour scheme of terracotta, midnight-blue and silver, and subtle lighting from chandeliers.
On the hip-and-happening strip that is Golborne Road is a new addition, Zayane, a modern Moroccan restaurant owned by Casablanca-born Meryem Mortell. With Zayane, the effervescent Meryem has brought her love of her homeland to life with a beautiful traditional Moroccan d&cor that is both attractive and welcoming. Think colours of oranges and blues, tea-lights in Moroccan styled brass candleholders and plush cushions. What’s more, on the night of our visit there was a singer on hand belting out soulful Middle Eastern tunes which were literally ‘music’ to our ears. Zayane was definitely not short on atmosphere!
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