Olive Magazine said that Zayane’s food was ‘delicate, precise and imaginative’.
Big Hospitality called our menu ‘sophisticated’ and that it ultilised ‘modern culinary techniques’ and had ‘European influences’. All very swanky and maybe what earned us a spot in the 2017 and 2018 Michelin Guide! While all this high praise is rather flattering, we’d like to show off Zayane’s homelier side –after all, my restaurant is simply myself, Meryem, in the kitchen with my son cooking the healthy, delicious and warming cuisine from my homeland.
Sure, I do understand what the critics see, as Zayane’s food looks beautiful and tastes amazing – two clear signs of a top London restaurant. Despite this, I have always viewed our guests as coming into my own kitchen where they can relax and recharge through a comforting and restorative Moroccan meal. At Zayane we have a notable advantage over a quaint little country pub with a fireplace… Our cosy and warming food is bursting with layers of flavour from our authentic Moroccan spices. If you are slightly unwell, our food will pick you up and make you feel like yourself again – particularly when paired with some reinvigorating Moroccan mint tea. If you are looking for a delicious treat to perk you up during the dark and cold London winter, our menu will offer you comfort and flavour that you simply won’t get anywhere else in London, all brought together by a loving cuddle of spice.
The following three dishes are some of my favourites for experiencing comfort food à la marocaine. They are fabulous, profoundly tasty and will allow you to view even the dreariest of grey London days with rose-tinted glasses!
If ever there were a dish that flaunted Moroccan cuisine as a heavyweight contender in the world of comfort food, it is our national dish, Harira soup. My version is 100% vegetarian and combines tomatoes, lentils and chickpeas with cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and coriander that results in light and satisfying soup that will warm you down to your soul.
By breaking your fork through the crispy Phyllo crust of this Zayane classic, pleasingly sweet notes of ginger and cinnamon will float up to your nose. When you bring the first saffron-infused morsel to your lips, it will simply melt in your mouth! A Pastilla is a Moroccan sweet and savory pie – nothing fancy about it… it’s just really delicious and utterly cosy.
Honey & Balsamic Glazed Lamb Shank Tagine
By lifting the lid of a tagine, you – the diner – are inundated by what makes Moroccan cuisine delicious, special and supremely comforting. Fragrant steam escapes, letting you breath in the most delectable of aromas. Now that the dish has your full attention, you immerse yourself a delicately spiced, slow-cooked lamb shank that is so tender it is falling off the bone. The more you eat, the happier you get, and the freezing winter day fades away into oblivion.
Don’t be fooled by our beautiful plates of food or the high praise we’ve enjoyed from both critic and customer, alike. Zayane’s food is ‘mama’s’ Moroccan food and my restaurant is the ideal place in London for a meal whenever you crave something delicious and comforting… with a bit of spice, of course!