Sometimes when you’re sitting around having drinks with a close friend and enjoying a fun conversation, you lose track of time, so before you know it, it’s 10.45 pm and seeing as this is Geneva, you know finding a dinner spot at that hour is going to be something of a challenge. By the time, you’re actually out and looking for a restaurant, it’s past 11 pm. So what to do? Call it a night and go home? Nope, not necessary, we happened to walk by El Mektoub, a Moroccan restaurant, not too far from Pâquis, and the owners kindly opened their doors to us and served us a full meal!
We kicked things off with pastilla, something I’ve been wanting to try for a long time, but somehow had never had the opportunity to have here in Geneva. Pastilla is a traditional Moroccan pie stuffed with chicken and ground nuts and topped with confectioner’s sugar.
Actually, I believe traditionally, in Morocco, it is made with pigeon, not chicken. Anyway, it was really good, all of the flavors worked amazingly well together, but it is definitely a rich dish.
We then ordered what is probably the best known North African dish, couscous – with all the fixin’s of course!
These include garbanzo beans, various dried fruits and also a vegetable stew consisting of carrots and zucchini amongst other things.
I actually had a merguez couscous just because I absolutely love merguez! When it’s fresh and seasoned properly, it’s amazingly delicious. However, I wouldn’t waste my time with the supermarket variety, it tends to be mediocre at best. There are a couple of butchers around Geneva who know how to make a proper merguez though. More on that soon!
Anyway, we had a great time at Mektoub that night, the food was good, the atmosphere was pleasant and they let us in at a time when most restaurants would have probably felt offended we would even suggest dinner including starters!