I didn’t love Casablanca. I wanted to, I really did, but there was something about it that I just didn’t connect with. Marrakech was great, Fes was even better, but Casablanca, no thanks.
I stayed at the Club Val D Anfa, which is located just off the busy seafront and had the most stunning ocean views. After a day of sightseeing, I was very keen to head back to my lovely deep bath for a soak and then chill out in my humungous and comfy bed.
The only other thing I liked about Casablanca was having dinner at Rick’s Cafe; which is incredibly touristy, but such fun.
I was rather disappointed to learn that the film Casablanca wasn’t actually filmed in Morocco at all, but rather at a film studio in Hollywood. So I think it is rather brilliant that Kathy Kriger has created her very own Rick’s Cafe in the Medina of Casablanca.
The actual Rick’s Cafe may not look that similar to the movie version, but it definitely had the right atmosphere and feel of a 1940’s bar.
White-washed walls, low archways, dark wood furniture, traditional Moroccan lighting casting shadows everywhere (which made food photography impossible) and a piano bar.
We were seated upstairs by the most ridiculously polite and attentive waiters, all wearing outfits fitting to the Rick’s theme. Issam was our pianist for the evening, who entertained us with various tunes from the 40’s including the infamous ‘As Time Goes By’.
Phil and I started our evening with cocktails; a Bloody Mary (which was perfectly seasoned) and a Margarita, before moving onto the local Casablanca beer
The menu is simple and includes a variety of dishes, from traditional Moroccan food to steak and pasta. If you’re a fan of a nice memento, you’ll like that the menu is dated and you can take it home if you wish.
We both opted for a goats cheese starter; his the salad with figs and mine the croquettes with lavender, crushed almonds and honey. There was something about the sweetness of the honey combined with the bitterness of the lavender, which I didn’t like at all. So Phil ended up eating both dishes and declared them both delicious.
For the main course, you choose your meat and then two accompaniments; I chose the lamb chops with mint pesto with onion rings and mashed potato on the side. This was actually exquisite. Packed full of flavour and extremely satisfying, the ultimate in comfort food deliciousness.
Phil went for the far more geographically suitable Moroccan lemon roasted chicken, but then he paired it with buttered pasta, so he lost all authenticity points. He ate in two seconds flat, so it must have been as tasty as mine.
Dessert saw us both choosing the Chocolate Lava Cake, which was cooked to order, so took around 20 minutes to arrive at our table, but was definitely worth the wait. Moist, chocolatey sponge with a hot, liquid chocolate centre that oozed out over the orange sorbet that came with it.
It was a wonderful evening and worth getting a little dressed up for, especially if you want to imagine you’re Bergman and Grant.
Rick’s Cafe is on the pricier side for Casablanca our meal came to 800 dirhams (£60/$80), but it is a lovely way to spend an evening, so we both agreed it was worth every penny.