The pop-up restaurant is called #thisisnotabuffet which already prepares you for a culinary experience. Our booking was for 6.45 and we made it in good time however it was not easy to find the pop-up venue. There were no signs but a security guard directed us to warehouse 90 which is by the yard.
I loved the venue, as expected in Al Serkal, they had transformed a warehouse into a restaurant and they had done a good job. The majority of the furnishings were recycled from the tables to the menus and for decoration they just had pieces of paper hanging from the ceiling but it all worked and it was pretty chic.
I was fasting so they took my order first and my appetizer arrived just before iftar which is when they took the rest of the groups order (there were 10 of us). My 3 courses came out seamlessly however the rest of the group had major issues…some had finished mains while others had not even had starters and it was all a bit of a mess. I thought my second course would sync with everyone else’s but we all ended up eating as our food came and half the group had not even had their mains by 9pm (2 hours later).
On the plus side the food was unbelievable, it was really delicious, small plates made up of elements that were magical together. I had the lobster tacos which were to die for! For mains I had the lamb which was cooked to perfection with a beautiful pink like through the middle and a delicious herb and pistachio crust. Then I finished with the kheer cheesecake which was very interesting, it came with a strong saffron sauce which was a little overwhelming but I loved all the other elements on the plate, a crumble, a dark chocolate truffle, edible flowers amongst other things.
Due to the time delays we got quite a few free plates to sample and the crab was divine, I would definitely order it next time…yes I am actually still quite happy to go back despite the service, they were very apologetic but mainly because the food was off the chain! It was only the second day of the pop-up so it must be really difficult to get into the flow of things with such a sophisticated menu. You could choose either 2 course for 90, 5 courses for 210 or a range of small plates which were about 40dhs each (way better value) but I think these caused havoc in the kitchen.
I loved the vibe, we sat on a taller table with stools which got uncomfortable after the first course but the majority were low tables which I would request in future. I think its a great concept and they had a live Oud player which was nice. They have themed nights so Saturday they have a boardgame space, Sunday is games night, Monday is trivia night, Tuesday is live music and Wednesday is gallery tours from 8.30pm. 5% of all proceeds go to charity and I would highly recommend an iftar at #thisisnotabuffet. You can find plenty of parking inside Al Serkal Avenue and remember to book in advance.