I'm always so busy catching up with the latest openings that I always miss out my local restaurants in my area and Bogayo was one of them. With a constant 50% off on Toptable my expectations was low but because I was after a last minute nearby dinner booking place, Bogayo became my first choice.
But Bogayo actually surprised me. Having been to Morocco, Bogayo did provide that authentic decor of dark mahogany wood. It was nicely decorated with Moroccan style grille against the windows and tiling and had the same warm feeling i was used to intensified by the dark red sofas.
Service was efficient and friendly enough but what really delivered was the food and their portion sizes, very homely cooking in mama's style serving sizes.
We started with the Chicken Bastilla's which were so good. A nice thin crispy layer of pastry which a sweet glaze and into a nice fragrant filling of minced chicken. The flavours were nicely balanced and I will definitely recommend to get. We also ordered the grilled halloumi. These were too salty for my liking but still an enjoyable texture and nicely grilled and 3 generous pieces. They just have to get a lower salt version.
Food came in nice timing and plates cleared quickly and efficiently. From the mains we decided to stick with the Moroccan dishes and went for the Lamb shank Tagine, the chicken couscous and the mix grill. Served in their nice terracotta agines presentation was pretty good. My lamb shank was nice and moist, succulent and delicately flavoured. It could have been more richer in flavour but I enjoyed it nevertheless with the sweetness from the apricots and prunes balanced with the savoury Moroccan spices in the sauce. The almonds also provided a nice bite too. I ordered a side of nicely cooked couscous to soak up the rest of the sauce which completed the meal. I was satisfied.
The half chicken in the couscous was bit dry other than the wing part. This was a shame as it made this dish a little harder to eat when the couscous underneath took more of the moisture away. The soup that came with it didn't do much justice as it was too runny for the meat to pick up it's juices and instead the couscous soaked it all up. But I enjoyed the flavour and the burst of sweetness of the raisins that added to the taste of the dish.
The mix grill was the only dish were the portion size was a little less than we expected but quality in the meats made up for it. Having tried the chicken couscous I was so genuinely surprised how tender the chicken skewer was. The meat was firm rather than stringy and really tender. Same goes for the lamb skewer and both of these skewers were nicely grilled and marinated well so the meat carried out the flavour. But what stood out in this dish was the lamb sausage which was much leaner, richer with a nicer bite than the usual pork sausage I'm used to. It was spiced nicely and probably the most flavoursome part of the meal.Rice was fluffy and the fresh tomato salsa complimented the dish well.
As a suggestion I wish the chef did was be more creative with their side salad on the main dishes rather it just be mainly plain rocket and tomato. An addition of a more crunchier veg and less stronger in flavour like lettuce leaves will provide a more varied texture and a better bite without taking the taste of the dish away.
The reviews I have read on some of Bogayo's dessert led us no choice but to order some. We went for the chocolate fondue and that was perfect. The thickness of the cake was just right and was moist on it's own but with the warm chocolate sauce it broke into and the vanilla ice cream the dish became heavenly. It was pure indulgent and so good.
The Morrocan cakes were more average. They were very similar to Turkish desserts like baklava and other similar pastries but felt dried out like they've been left out too long. This meant the pastries lacked the crispiness it should have had and each piece became quite dense and heavy as the layers sunk down.
Overall the meal was really enjoyable and with 50% off using Toptable we were more than happy with the price we paid. Staff were patient with us as we stayed a lot longer after our meal and we did not feel rushed at all. It is very clear to me how Bogayo has been remained a old local restaurant on the quieter end of Old Street. With the food it delivers I sure will be returning soon myself.
I went to a work Christmas party here and early signs were not good as the manager tried to get us to move to the other end of the table so that he could squeeze more customers in. Does he not know that people at work Christmas parties choose their seats very carefully? This was dropped soon enough as we were basically all frozen to our seats making silent scream faces.
Food wise I ended opting for the more expensive set menu because it featured scallops. I should have saved myself some cash because the scallops were quite small and tasteless. They were combined with smoked salmon which I don't think worked very well - salty/smoky versus delicate/sweet resulted in a bit of a non event. Perhaps if there had been large quantities of both each bite would have made more of a taste impact, who knows.
We had a chicken main course which we found a little sour but others had venison which was one of the most delicious dishes I have tasted in a long time. Truly outstanding both in the quality of the meat and the cooking. Venison can be very rich but this was not overpowering at all, it was just tender and full of deep flavour.
Desserts were fine, and overall they did pretty well with managing the group.
Overall I would say it's not worth travelling here but might be worth a go - I would say don't try anything where they try to be too fancy but do try the venison if it's on the menu!
I work in the City so this is my go-to place to unwind over shisha and a bit of food.
This is a quaint little restaurant with an indoor area and a lovely indoor terrace bit for dining. It's pretty quiet during the week and gets busier on Fridays. I would say it's a bustling little place without being rowdy.
The crowd tends to be young professionals and a few City folks. The vibe is pretty chilled and relaxed with none of the pretentious or hipster nonsense.
There is an outdoor area (marquees are up when raining or cold with outdoor heaters on standby) where you can have food and/or smoke shisha. Good selection of flavours and coals are changed frequently without having to constantly ask for it.
Food is generally good and flavoursome, and service is always attentive. Mains are quite heavy so I stick to starters and mezzes. The dessert menu looks delicious - will sample next time!
This is a presentable place to bring friends or colleagues whether you're after dinner only, dinner and shisha, or shisha with a pot of mint tea.
Cute decor with option to sit either inside or outside. We went on a weeknight and it was pretty dead so quite easy to get a table.
Overall they have good food but nothing that makes u say WOW. Chicken bastilla was flaky and delicious. The fish was fresh and moist but the salsa was very boring and lacked flavor.
Hummus and pita bread
Chicken Bastilla: filo pastry filled with chicken, almond and aromatic spices
Kofta Tagine: Meatballs in rich herb tomato sauce with or without an egg topping
Mixed grilled Mediterranean fish with salsa and aioli
Charming Moroccan restaurant! I had dinner here with my Mom and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
The decor is warm and cool and you have choice to sit indoors or outdoors (covered outdoor seating). We opted to sit indoors and take in the decor and aroma of the delicious smells coming out of their kitchen.
Appetizer: Chicken Bastilla (filo pastry filled with chicken, almonds and aromatic spices) - a yummy 4 stars and a greta way to start our meal.
Entree: Mom had the Chicken Tagine. The chicken was cooked in a saffron and coriander sauce, with potatoes, olives and lemon. I tried a bite and the chicken was moist, tender and very flavorful - a delicious 4 stars!
I had the Lamb tagine- which was a lamb shank coated with moroccan spices, prunes, apricots, roasted almonds and sesame seeds - it was absolutely scrumptious! Mom liked my dish over hers as the lamb was juicy and not tough at all.
Dessert: Mom was too full but I wasn't going to pass up on the Pistachio Creme Brulee I had spied when looking at the menu - needless to say it was delectable.
The service was attentive but not imposing and the restaurant has a good ambience.
Milestone: 300th Review!
The night I went to Bogayo I was craving for some nice Moroccan food, it started well by a nice welcome and service and a really great setting, but I ended up leaving a bit disappointed... by the food!
My friend and I chose to share starter and desert as we were both going for a tagine for main dish, but in the end, there was very little to share!
The starter was a chicken pastilla, a personal favourite. The pastilla was very small and just heat up. you could tell it wasnt crunchy on the outside and meat was dry and warm. Unfortunately, the details that make a pastilla magical such as almond or nuts or a bit of cinnamon were missing. Very basic starter...
Then my main, the lamb tagine with dried fruit was ok but not exceptionnal. I had a gigantic piece of meat (great if you're starving or if you're a big guy!) but the meat was a bit hard, dry. Not the dreamy meat that melts in your mouth like the one I had on my last Maroccan meal (in Paris!)...
Finally, the desert was a big joke, I strongly recommand NOT to take the "maroccan cakes", it's just 6 mini slices of industrial maroccan cakes. And when I mean a slice, its really a slice, not an expression for "small piece"...definitely not worth the £4 of the desert...
Overall, the place is very nice if you want to hang out, have some tea or just stay in their big terrace as it's very cosy, with an oriental decoration galore, but you should chose it for the food if you want to have great Maroccan meal...
A hidden tapestry of Moroccan charm! This sweet restaurant can easily be missed as you stride up Old Street.
I am a big fan of Moroccan food, similar to Spanish Tapas I enjoy the social aspect of sharing food, getting a taste of everything and being able to discuss which flavours you liked and why.
In the summer they have a beautiful courtyard area with outdoor heaters perfect for sharing a few light dishes and a bottle of wine. I had a first date here once and it was ideal.
Conversely the indoor seated area is full of rich colours, cushions and tapestries. With Moroccan beats and belly dancing music floating through the air.
Every time I have eaten here I have been impressed. The houmous is fresh, chick pea salad is delicious and the staff are very sweet and always smiling. Enjoy!
Bogayo is great, and if you are a fan of Morrocan food like myself, then it is deffinately the place for you! My favourite meal has to be the chicken tagine, so SO flavoursome and the chicken is so tender, cooked to perfection! The starters are exquisite, give the aubergine caviar a go, or some of the seafood dishes. The houmous is really good as well, this should be expected however. They have deals on two or three courses which will set you about £15.
The atmosphere in there is really great, you really have to give this a go as it is not too pricey. There is always morrocan music playing, and the decor is very authentic and traditional. In the summer try and get a spot out doors, you could even come here just for a drink as it is so relaxing! Also, if you are a fan of shisha (I'm not really) you can have it on the terrace. They also offer a take out service if you are feeling lazy but want to eat at home- a good change from chinese or pizza.
Chicken Bastilla - not like authentic bastilla that I've had before (way too small)
Lamb Tagine - tender, succulent meat that rolls off the bone! :)**** not to mention the deliciously sweet apricots and prunes that it's cooked with.
Sticky Toffee Pudding - My first time trying this (*gasp*) (Yes, England - don't shoot me for never having tried one of your classics) This was also mouthwatering, though I kind of felt like I might have developed diabetes after consuming it.
The Vibe - Perfect - a mixture of seating, from indoors to covered patio to outdoors. I enjoy places that can create varied atmospheres in one singe restaurant. I also like how they have soft booths filled with pillows - a touch of Moroccan decor.
Plus - you can Hookah / Shisha here!
The Bogayo is the perfect location to drink and have dinner in a very relaxed atmosphere near Old Street. As soon as you enter this place you are warmly welcomed by Abdou, beware Abdou can be very talkative!
Service was perfect, I advise to book a table on their patio (heated in spring), enjoy the comfie sofas, and don't forget to end up with moroccan tea and chicha (I recommend the apple one!).
In the menu you would find a full range of traditional Morrocan dishes (chick peas, houmous, aubergine caviar, merguez, and the famous tajines). I definately recommend the lamb tajine with prunes, dried apricots and almonds Yummy.
Perfect place to chill-out before going to the clubs in Old Street and good value for money! Starters around £5. Mains from £9 to £12. Take-away available.
Haven't eaten here but can attest that it's a nice place for some hookah and wine outdoors. And the food I saw being passed around looked lovely.
The North African menu with general Mediterranean add-ons was reasonably priced and went down well though no dish had the wow factor. The shared mezes for two worked well enough. We went on a warm weekday evening and it was too warm inside even though half-empty. But there are two more spaces - a kind of semi-outside gazebo covered place and then the patio area - the middle was a good compromise. A rather regular kind of restaurant, given all the cooller places nearby - in style and temperature! Probably good for parties.
I find it odd that whenever I wander into Bogayo, they've always got a table for us. You'd think that with some tasty tagines and an Old street address, they'd always be packed. But no! Tis very handy for me :)
The indoor seating is quite cozy and it's easy to hear your dining partners. There's a nice mellow vibe, quite different to the bustling street outside.
Plus order the large tea after your meal, it comes in a pretty teapot and with those little glasses that I love so much.
Bogayo is a slightly odd restaurant. I've only ever eaten here at lunchtime which is a diffferent menu to the evening and not so 'moroccan'. The food is good, rissottos, sandwiches, burgers, and pasta but the service can be slow (but friendly). The indoor seating area is benches and rickty chairs, then there's a 'tent' section against the side of the building which is quite fun. And there's an outside area - this is odd as a footpath goes through the middle of it so be prepared to be stared at by passers-by!
We sometimes go as a group from work and they always seem to have a table and happily cope with a group of people paying separately.
I've eaten here on a number of occasions and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Bogayo, set in a traditionally decorated environment, offers a good selection of traditional dishes, with added extras for thoughts not so adventurous with their gastronomic experiences.
Simple starters for dipping and sharing, mains which are what you'd expect from the North Africa region, including Tagines and Couscous dishes, (a very spicy Moroccan sausage that's actually as described and not greasy as some tend to be) and with a selection of lovely desserts, you're sure to leave with a happy pallet.
The drink selection is good, but I would have liked to have seen a few more beers on offer (Guinness would have been a bonus) but what made up for that was the music, the Shisha suite and the belly dancer
It has to be said that a number of my guest are vegan and were well catered for during our visits, by making an advance telephone call to staff (big ups to Abdul) to ensure that the chef on the night would cook up a treat.
As for the cost, I feel you get good value for your money, and even better if you have a taste Card, as it entitles you to 50% discount. What a bargain. So if you're north/east London based, and fancy eating Marrakesh style, why not give it a try. I know I'll be back!
Love the food, shisha and staff. Rely nice and quiet restaurant in heart of Shoreditch.
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