Mind your head on the low entrance, and mind the many decorative pots, rugs and lanterns – there isn’t room to swing a camel’s tail in this tiny café.
But the cooking mostly punches above its size and there’s plenty of choice, from the size of the b’stilla – an excellent example, not too sweet and containing plenty of spiced chicken inside crisp pastry – to the option of orange flower water (for an extra 25p) with the mint tea. Service is friendly, the mood and music cheerful.
The lengthy menu extends beyond tagines and couscous dishes to brochettes (skewers of grilled chicken, lamb or sausage). To start, dips were better than the dull briouats, which resembled unspiced samosas. Tagines were served in their cooking pots, the lids lifted with a flourish to reveal artfully presented chicken with golden apricots, and a succulent lamb shank with prunes and quartered egg; both were strewn with almonds. Fluffy couscous was provided to share, with the vegetarian version comprising DIY dishes of soft root vegetables in spicy broth, spiced slices of aubergine, and sweet onion and chickpeas.
For those that stay the course there are springy, sultana-stuffed pancakes or a more refreshing conclusion of oranges with orange flower water and cinnamon.