Moroccan food is as varied as the country’s heritage. Last night at Hyatt Regency Casablanca it was foie gras tasting one side of the super-duper outside pool (sorry, no photos as it was dark and a social event).
As one Big Business Guy said, imagine, a buffet of different foie gras, with superb brioche. That actually made ideal finger food, as did the sushi and sashimi buffet round the other side of the pool, but that of course is not exactly from Morocco’s heritage. It was a typical-Hyatt event. Outside of the USA, any Hyatt always sends a message – Great Food.
Even at breakfast just now, in the Hyatt’s eighth floor Regency Club lounge, it was good, good, and international. Juice, yoghurt and roses are local, butter and china and china are French (d’Echiré, La Rose des Sables and Guy Degrenne, respectively). Of course if a girl thinks of any North African cuisine the word ‘tajine’ probably comes to mind, the Berber two-part vessel, flat base and coned top, that holds a mélange mix of meats and fruits, actually not this girl’s taste.
Interestingly, look up many Moroccan foods online and you see promotion for Mazagan, the luxury resort that conceptor and half-owner Sol Kerzner named after the old Portuguese name for the historic port town of El Jadida (new town), five miles away. At one point he did intend, apparently, that this would be a new brand, but so far that has not happened. He has exclusivity for gambling, for a 100-mile radius, and every day, or rather night, they – Moroccans and the many Chinese living and working in Casablanca, an hour away – flock here.
We dined in the casino, in fact, looking down at the tables (what every girl needs is a bit of variety in her life and I cannot remember when I last actually dined among the tables, so to speak). Before my caprese came (what did I say about needing variety?) I almost pigged out on the tray of local appetizers, including my favourite, babaghannouj eggplant dip. It actually went pretty well with a Moroccan wine, a Tandem Syrah 2007.
The food at Mazagan is, to use an English phrase, spiffing. At breakfast, I ‘gambled’ with an Australian. Whose toast would emerge first from the two roller-toasters, set side by side (he won). The chef’s made-to-order omelettes, said a Brit, were outstanding, she had had one three days running (variety, anyone?).
A display of sweet cakes sat near various yoghurts blended with cereals, but I went for yoghurts unadulterated, and two glasses of juice, and followed my American coffee with a me-made Nespresso, back up in suite 4520. Mazagan’s chef, by the way, is Parisian, Michael Bruard – and the butter and jams here are French.
Next time I promise to eat Moroccan, at Mazagan. I also want to check out the Gary Player golf course, a par-72 affair along the dunes. And of course there is also the in-house shopping, which looked pretty good, with fine jewelry here and really wearable resort-wear there. There must also be a cultural trip to El Jadida, where in Orson Wells shot part of Othello, starring Fay Compton and Micheál MacLiammóir. As well as a historic trio of religious centres, a church, a mosque and a synagogue, there is the Princesse Lalla Malika racecourse. Every October HM King Mohammed VI personally opens a week-long equestrian festival that attracts riders, and their horses, from around the world.