A lot of restaurants at the south side of the Dubai Marina have failed. But Kif Kif opened just a few weeks ago and seems to have a steady stream of patrons at all hours. In fact, Kif Kif is situated at the corner of a fairly busy roundabout so I’m sure many people gaze at this restaurant while stuck in traffic, wondering what this place is like. (I have!)
Kif Kif is a casual Moroccan restaurant (their tagline is Urban Moroccan, Fast Good) with outdoor terrace seating that really comes to life at night.
The decor follows the urban Moroccan theme. The tables are tiled with beautiful blue prints. The chairs are mismatched wood or metal in shades of blue. Or you can sit on benches made of colourful woven cloth. The interior is decorated with tagines. The lighting is warm with glowing pendant lights and exposed bulbs. The waiters wear bright turquoise kurtas with traditional Moroccan straw hats adorned with multi-coloured pompoms.
This the kind of place you could imagine sitting for breakfast, lunch or dinner (or in the case of Mr. S, at 3am in the morning). Well, you’re in luck. They’re open 24 hours!
Here’s our free Moroccan bread and olives to start. This bread is a little too thick and spongy for me but I’ll take the olives please.
Water is served in rustic Moroccan clay mugs designed to keep water cool. I’ve never been to Morocco, but the smell of the clay reminds me of my time in Ethiopia. Mr. S thought it smelled like mud. Either which way, what a great way to maintain authenticity.
We ordered the bastilla bdjaj (chicken and almond with cinnamon and eggs cooked in a phyllo pastry) as a starter which was served on a big wooden board.
This is what it looks like inside. Shredded chicken, sliced almonds and a bit of egg lightly spiced with cinnamon inside a flaky phyllo dough. It’s an unusual yet moreish combination of sweet and savoury, soft and crunchy. Yes, that’s powdered sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top. This was one of my favourites. Even Mr. S who doesn’t usually like sweet mixed with salty was clamouring for more.
For mains, we ordered one couscous dish and one tagine stew, both served in the classic conical earthenware pots.
Our first main was the couscous with beef merguez sausages and stewed vegetables, including pumpkin, carrot and marrow. The sausage was spicy with Moroccan flavours. They use a very fine grain couscous which was surprisingly light and fluffy. The dish was served with a side of tomato-based gravy.
We also ordered the beef and prune tagine. This was my second favourite item because the beef in this stew was delicious, made from a fattier cut of beef that disintegrated in your mouth. This was another sweet and savoury combination, though it was only actually sweet when you were eating the prunes. I’d have preferred it to be a bit sweeter, but no matter. I perfected a technique to smush the prunes and mix it with the sauce to achieve the sweetness I wanted (as you do!)
The Agadir lemonade which was served in a big jar and tasted more like orange than lemon. The taste reminded me of an Orange Julius, an American drink from my childhood. So I was happy.
We only just scratched the surface of what Kif Kif has to offer. Their menu also includes sandwiches, salads, burgers, grilled items, and a small selection of desserts such as the amlou tiramisu made with honey and argan oil.
Verdict: All in all a pleasant meal with a pleasant ambiance not too far from home. If you’re driving, you may find it hard to find parking.
Note to self: Try their mini tagine “tapas” to get to sample a little bit of everything. Plus save room for the argan oil dessert. If it’s good enough for my skin, it’s good enough for my insides, surely.
Dubai Marina (near the Al Rahim mosque)
Tel: 052 361 7543
Chow for now!