The country of Morocco is one that fascinates many, particularly Europeans, who often see it as the easy option when it comes to stepping onto a different continent. With it being just 14.3 km away from Spain at its closest point, it’s very convenient for Europeans to take a quick ferry over to experience a taste of north Africa.
Alandalus is a Moroccan and Spanish restaurant which I came across whilst visiting family nearby. It is just a few minutes walk away from Ekoda station on the Seibu Ikubukuro line and I recently dropped in to quite literally get a taste of some Moroccan cuisine.
Back in January 2010 I went on a short trip to Seville in the south of Spain and Tangiers and the blue mountain town of Chefchaoeun in the north of Morocco so in a way this was the perfect restaurant for myself. I consumed some lovely local food in the latter and so was keen to re-experience some of it at this restaurant.
My visit was during lunch where there are about nine Moroccan and nine Spanish sets on offer at 1200 yen and 1100 yen respectively. A varied range of Tapas dishes are also available but my focus was on the tajine dishes. For those unaware tajine is a stew of sorts cooked slowly in a clay pot. There are six different types available at lunch including ternera, pollo, albondiga, verduras, boquerones and bacalao and if you know what they all mean then you’re a better person than me! Basically they’re a mix of meats, vegetables, fish and fruit! Yes, that’s right, fruit is used in tajine particularly olives.
I plumped for the first one on the menu as that’s often the most authentic one. Tajine ternera was accompanied by a healthy-sized salad, bread and a pot of mint tea and once it had cooled down to my liking, the main dish provided a very distinctive fruity taste which was very nice.
This dual-nationality restaurant, which is situated on the second floor overlooking a busy crossroads, is fairly sizeable by Tokyo standards and has two sides to it with the kitchen and bar side (as well as some seating in what, to my untrained eye, looks more Spanish in style!) on the left as you enter at the top of the stairs. Take the door on your right and it opens up into a spacious open-plan dining area decorated with the kinds of Spanish and Moroccan paraphernalia which makes such a place seem more authentic.
No doubt I will return to these place with my wife in tow the next time we visit some of her family in the area. Hopefully one day we’ll also visit Morocco itself as I’m very keen to visit Marrakech as well as Ouarzazete which is one of the world’s premiere filming locations that has featured in countless number of films albeit usually doubling up for a “dangerous” Middle-East location.
Alandalus is located at 1-75-1-2F (Takishima Building) Asahigaoka, Nerima-ku.