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Zayane Moroccan Fusion in Ladbroke Grove:
Portobello Road’s upstart little brother Golborne Road seems to be turning itself into a food destination. In the last few months I have reviewed charcoal grill specialist John Doe (see my review) and ‘US-accented British fare’ specialist West Thirty Six. At the Ladbroke Grove end of the road away from the North African and Portuguese cafés and delis that gives the area its character, sits Zayane, a Moroccan restaurant with a British twist.Zayane owner, Casablanca-born Meryem Mortell, says “Zayane is the coming together of my Moroccan roots and London, my adopted home” and to create this fusion she has brought in Michelin starred British chef, Chris Bower, previously of Thackerays and The Ivy, whose mission is to blend British ingredients with Moroccan imported spices. The irrepressible Meryem, who dances constantly to the sound of the in-house musician throughout my whole stay at the restaurant, has created an individual take on Moroccan Riad style. There are seating fabrics in burnished orange and luxuriant leather, Moroccan pendant chandeliers, sconces and tea-lights in silver and brass, terracotta and midnight-blue walls and wood jali screens which all go to create a very attractive atmosphere.I’ve been invited , on behalf of London-Unattached, with a select band of food bloggers to investigate the menu at Zayane and although the restaurant is BYO at the moment, we were treated to a Zayane Passion, a Passion fruit and vodka cocktail-actually I had six-they were pretty good!Sweet potato crisps piping hot and straight out of the fryer came with a spiky and moreish yoghurt and harissa dip.Pan-fried scallop chermoula, chick pea, tomato and cumin was beautifully spiced but I prefer my scallops seared to give that crispness on the outside.A selection of dips with hot flatbread was a great introduction to the tastes and textures of Moroccan food-my favourite was a delicious smoked aubergine dip.Saffron marinated sea trout came with cauliflower on a bed of fragrant couscous with a seafood bisque served at the table. This was a lovely dish fusing fine dining techniques with Moroccan flavours. The other main was a slow-braised belly of milk-fed lamb mechoui with an aubergine caponata. The lamb had been cooked with preserved lemons and was very tender and tasty.Chocolate delice with pistachio ice-cream was a little low in cocoa for me but the pistachio ice-cream was lovely and would have been overpowered by anything more intense.Raspberry Clafoutis came with vanilla ice-cream and was appropriately rich and eggy.Zayane is an all-day kind of a place; a working lunch menu, served within 60-minutes, is available from Monday to Friday and on Sundays, a bottomless brunch is served from 11am to 5pm, and afternoon tea is available daily from 3pm to 5pm with mint tea, coffee, Moroccan biscuits and sandwiches. It’s a great neighbourhood restaurant with a lovely vibe. A very famous actor was sitting at the next table so it is clearly picking up attention from the locals and is well worth a visit.
91 Golborne Road,
London, W10 5NL