New restaurant launches bringing Arabian nights to Mayfair

Monday 13th January, 2014
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On entering, guests are greeted by the scent of orange blossom and heady jasmine. Mosaic floors, silver leaf ceilings and tables sprinkled with deep red Moroccan rose petals, blend traditional hospitality with modern design. The menu interprets classic Arabic dishes, showcasing Head Chef Ramdane Djebarri’s mastery of traditional cooking methods, using the very finest ingredients. His kitchen also combines the best of Moroccan and Lebanese cuisines, from meltingly tender tagines in traditional clay pots to honeyed bites of Baklawa and pistachio-studded Arabic Pudding. Guests are encouraged to dine banquet-style, crowding tables with Mezze picked from a selection of the traditional, such as the freshly made Moutabel, a smoky aubergine dip blended with tahini, to the innovative, like the Mango Salad, golden in colour, sweet and powerfully flavoured with an Arabic lime dressing.

There's a broad selection of pastries, followed by grilled and charcoal-cooked meats and couscous dishes. The Meshoui, a slow roasted whole shoulder of lamb marinated in Moroccan spices and served with fresh dates, oranges and apricots, is one of those melt in the mouth dishes that guests will return for. And vegetarians are given a wide choice, with highlights that include the Cheese Sambousek, a Lebanese light savoury pastry filled with halloumi, parsley and dried mint and for pescetarians, Grilled King Prawns dressed with lime, garlic, chilli and garlic is proving highly popular.

Throughout the day, guests can enjoy fresh pressed exotic juices, Moroccan and Lebanese sweets and teas: the restaurant is filled with the scent of fresh mint leaves as the traditional tea is poured theatrically, steaming from a great height from silver tea pots into vintage glasses. At night, the venue comes to life with beautiful belly-dancers, and traditional musicians, evoking the energetic buzz of Marrakech. Descending into the subterranean restaurant and bar, one is met by the colour, noise and excitement of an enchanted souk, lit by twinkling candles and scented with burning incense. Not just for dining, the electric atmosphere provides a great setting for late night drinking.

Two bars, headed by Tony De Carvalho, serve an eclectic cocktail menu, with the restaurant’s mixologists incorporating the bold flavours of the region. Champagne cocktails include the Sheik Royal, which blends vodka infused Moroccan orange with elderflower, and there’s the Mamounia Lounge signature, Gold Digger: a combination of fresh passion fruit with vanilla vodka accompanied by a shot of champagne topped with gold leaf flakes. A snug outdoor terrace with full canopy and heated flooring offers a Shisha Menu which can be paired with innovative cocktails. Using the finest molasses every day, Mamounia Lounge shishas are prepared fresh upon request using ripe fruits including apples, baby pineapples and whole watermelons, or even custom blended to guests’ specific requirements. There is another Mamounia Lounge in Knightsbridge opposite Harrods that offers a similar style of entertainment.

Mamounia Lounge, 37a Curzon Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 7TX Tel: 0207 629 2211

NB. 2 images supplied by wood flooring experts, Artwood, who provided the parquet flooring throughout