05.21.2011 by Andrea
My friend K celebrated his birthday about 10 days after the return from our cruise and decided that since we hadn’t already consumed epic portions of food we should gather round a table, cross our legs, and break bread over mutton. It seemed appropriate that the day he chose to do this was Good Friday.
When the email invite went out I had a work conflict and was feeling rather dour about having to miss this five course festival of tasters. Lo and behold the day before the time slot opened and I was jauntily able to change my response to be included in the attendee list. I had dined at Marrakesh in Portland before and didn’t recall eating sheep, I did remember warm rose water being poured over my hands and belly dancers surrounding my table. Furthermore I wasn’t sure I was ascertain of the difference between lamb, mutton, and just a sheep. Also, I was curious as to whether or not all parts would be present.
Marrakesh Seattle does not disappoint. Fresh water was poured over our hands. Immediately a cupful of fragrant lentil soup was placed in front of us. The aroma of the soup instantly washed us away to a faraway land. The hummus, cubed cucumber, diced tomato, drizzled with a light oil and accompanied by bread course was the perfect transition. The bread basket looked like we were going to have a snake unfurl itself at any moment and begin to hypnotize us. Course three really stepped it up a notch. A meat pie that was sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon. A combination I certainly wouldn’t have conceived. It’s becoming glaringly apparent sweet & savory combos are ranked high on list my of goodies.
Then the meat platter arrived. It’s required you have a minimum of 8 eaters ready go feast and you have to call in 3 days prior to get the sheep ready. After reading the menu I found out that this dish is served in quarter or halves, I think we gorged on a half portion, and it the national dish called Mechoui. The platter was heaped high with juicy hunks of meat. We all dug in and the spices mixed with the tender meat were incredible. You were encouraged to sprinkle cumin and salt at your own discretion. I felt like I had won a round of bingo, this hit the spot. I must have grabbed two, okay maybe even a third, meaty flanks.
Just when you think you’re done – there was more! The belly dancer arrived shimmying and shaking her hips. Balancing swords on interesting parts of her body and contorting herself in amazing ways. I’ve sampled a couple of belly dancing classes and was reminded exactly a week later at a belly dancing core class how awkward I am at this art form. It’s like watching a baby horse find their legs for the first time.
In midst of our mesmerizing dance presentation we got our fifth and final course. A cup of hot tea and then a cup of a sweet custard dessert that cleansed the palate. It was light and airy and seemed to erase the previous four courses that I had just gorged on. Two thumbs up, can’t to visit again. Good times with good friends, good call K!