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Moroccana Review

Lucia Cox finds the food interesting but the service times erratic

Published on August 7th 2011.

Moroccana Review

BILLED as a Moroccan café, patisserie and shisha house, Moroccana is an inviting retreat just off Manchester Road before reaching Chorlton. The 86 bus stop is a spit away and with plenty of free car parking in the vicinity, it’s easily reached. 

The service is quick and friendly and we are made to feel very welcome but delivery of orders is slow, sometimes needs repeat prompting. 

Outside there’s a large terrace with B&Q style furniture. Inside there’s been a decorative overhaul since the overpriced deli, ‘Wild at Heart’ inhabited the building, with Moroccan-themed touches throughout; low-wooden tables and soft-furnishings. 


We just miss the first lunch rush and there’s one other customer when we order but a second rush of visitors soon swarm (around 1.30pm) and some of our orders are lost. It’s definitely more café than restaurant and, at night, the place is transformed into a shisha tavern. The odd passer-by may confuse Moroccana for a bar in the evenings as the place stays open until 11pm during the week and 1am at weekends but there’s no alcohol served on the premises and no opportunity to bring your own. 

There’s a breakfast menu (from 8am most days) with toasties, panini’s, omelettes and scrambled eggs on offer, the inclusion of which seem confusing and underwhelming. Why not have traditional Moroccan breakfasts instead? Yogurts, fresh fruit, warm pastries and pancakes served with mint tea or strong coffee. 

We are asked for our drinks order by the very friendly waiter and we went for a big pot of Moroccan fresh mint tea. The tea can be ordered with sugar already added but we opt for it without so we might add our own. It arrives served in a beautiful hand-painted metal tea pot with coloured glass tea cups and a silver serving platter. The tea has been infused well and it’s a refreshing and cooling experience, clearing the palate ready for the meal. 

The Moroccan mains are reasonable with none over £6 and all come with a large basket of traditional flat bread. We order the vegetable cous cous which includes rustically chopped pieces of steamed carrot and celery on top of a bed of lightly flavoured cous cous. It is simple and the flavours are so light that it might be better served as a side dish for one of the deeper flavoured mains. As a vegetarian main, it might be worth teaming it with a mezze platter (also on offer for under £6 and with plenty to choose from). 

We also opt for the Kefta tagine; spiced Moroccan meatballs in fresh tomato sauce finished with garlic coriander and a free range egg, poached in the middle. The flavours are good, solid even but perhaps a little too delicate and in need of more punch and intensity to do the famous Moroccan cusine justice. 

We also decide on the slow cooked Chicken tagine with preserved lemon, green olives, coriander, garlic and ginger. The tender pieces of chicken are on the bone and the dish slightly fiddly to eat as the tagine is small and single-portion sized. The Moroccan lentils we order as a side for the meat dishes are cooked with leek, potato and tomatoes and are delicious and packed full of flavour. Unfortunately, they arrive long after the rest of the food has been consumed so, on asking for spoons, we dig in as if it were soup. 

P1010813The service was friendly and we are made to feel very welcome but delivery of orders is slow, sometimes the waiters even need repeat prompting. I'm hoping and I’m assuming this is just part of early teething problems. The staff members are happy to help and the food is good but not great. A repeat visit from this reviewer is on the cards as the business builds. 

The meal for three cost £30. 


1 Railway Terrace, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 0RQ, 0161 637 8021

Rating: 12/20

Food: 6/10
Service: 3/5
Ambience: 3/5

Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing,14-15 worth a trip,16-17 very good, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20: Gordo gets carried away.

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14 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Richard HJAugust 9th 2011.

Fancy a bit of that traditional Moroccan breakfast. Roll on Saturday morning...

AnonymousAugust 9th 2011.

let's hope they've refurbished the toilets - i was horrified how dingy they were when i had my first and last coffee at wild at heart ... a dirty, wet towel to dry hands on and a filthy baby changing mat, no thanks. i wish i'd told the staff why i would never be going back ... so if they read this ...

ChorltonianAugust 17th 2011.

Paid this place a visit this week. Food was very good and the service was excellent. Admittedly the place was fairly quiet, but the waiter was very attentive, friendly and even gave us some free mint tea and Moroccan cakes. Very impressed

the Whalley RangerAugust 21st 2011.

we think it's cool - not full of ugg boot hipsters...

AnonymousNovember 1st 2011.

We went on the weekend, place was busy but still good service.
The food was amazing....the mezze and chicken tagine.
the cakes looked amazing and tasted delicious....we ended up having two each. Try the white chocoalte cheese cake.

AnonymousNovember 2nd 2011.

Whally Ranger - Ugg boot hispters! You must be someone's grandad if you associate ugg boots with hispters!

UsmanMarch 11th 2012.


1 Response: Reply To This...
USMAN- LANXMarch 11th 2012.


Nouria KehliJanuary 8th 2013.

I go there regularly and I love it ;-), their harira (soup) is just amazing. Staff is really friendly too. I cannot fault it.

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