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  • “We both had a seafood paella for a starter and although small, it was packed with a variety of seafood, not just prawns and mussels.” in 2 reviews

  • “The early evening, £11 for 2 courses deal (and a drink) is a winner!” in 2 reviews

  • “we had a selection of Tapas to start with with French bread, then a main meal + the usual desert and tea/coffees.” in 2 reviews

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  • 5.0 star rating
    22/12/2013

    A lovely hidden gem just off of the high street that's great value and has an amazing atmosphere!

    The thing I love most has to be the feeling that you're sitting in at a family dinner. The times I've been here I've sat alongside the owners family as they enjoy a large tapas meal. This is quite a unique experience and may be off putting for some but I really feel it made the evening.

    I had a selection of tapas dishes and they were all delicious, from tender lamb to grilled halloumi. I'm not sure I have a bad word to say!

    Recommend it without hesitation.

  • 5.0 star rating
    17/4/2009
    First to Review

    Over recent years, Canterbury has succumbed to an influx of chain restaurants which - while they serve their purpose - makes the city centre look just like any other. However, there are a few gems which really deserve a special mention. Café Mauresque is one such place.

    The Moroccan / Spanish restaurant can be easily missed down the dark and narrow side street. It has a couple of tables and chairs outside but these are not often used since the pedestrianised road is so narrow it hardly gets any light.

    It has a small dining area on the ground floor which is nicely done out in Moroccan décor (hookah pipes and all) but if you are lucky enough to be seated downstairs, you eat in a wonderland of Bedouin beauty.  The walls are adorned with Moroccan artefacts, there are cushioned cubby holes ideal for small groups or low chairs and tables.  It should be noted that these are not ideal for the taller eater as my poor six-foot-something-tall brother found out. (Normal height chairs and tables are upstairs so it might be an idea to specify when you book - and you do have to book!) I love the lampshades and candle holders which add a sparkly feeling to the evening. Outside it could be a howling blizzard. Inside, you're in a world of wonder.

    Now, sod the décor, what's the bloody food like?! Thankfully, it's blooming marvellous. There is an ordinary menu and a tapas menu and you can mix and match to your tastebuds' content. The humous turned me from a pulse-fearing non-believer to a worshipper at the alter of chick-pea goodness. And I'm no squid-lover but the squid and chorizo skewers are excellently cooked and not even a touch rubbery.  There are tagines, Spanishy specials like paella or roasted pork belly, salads and a lighter lunchtime menu. My favourites are the brochettes (skewers to me and you) which come in chicken, lamb (which both come with gloriously spicey merguez sausages) or haloumi and olive for the vegetarians. A substantial jug of some sort of very tasty sauce is on the side which you can add to the generous portion of cous cous and vegetables which you didn't expect with your order. Beautiful.

    I've been here numerous times - it's my restaurant of choice for a special evening out - and I've yet to have space left for dessert even though the sticky date cake and toffee sauce has to be on my list of things to try before I die.

    Things to note: it's advisable to book, especially on a Friday or Saturday night.  As of the last time I went, you cannot book a table for 7.30pm. Not really sure why, they said something about it being their busiest time so they don't seat people  then but I've never heard of this sort of policy before! And the front of house people aren't always very friendly if you haven't booked and want squeezing in. The serving staff are great though and will advise if you're unsure about the more unusual ingredients.  

    If you want a place to take someone special that will blow their senses, this is the place. Enjoy.

  • 5.0 star rating
    25/4/2010

    Ambiance is perfect and the staff was very accommodating. Came early on a Saturday night and hadn't booked a reservation but they managed to seat the three of us before the dinner rush. Couscous was amazing! As was the pork belly, the sauce was so luxurious. Had the baklava for dessert in the end and it had me begging for more. I would recommend this place to everyone!

    Be sure to check their website for special deals, especially if you're a student! Certain days out of the week are discounted as well

    • Qype User Skeniv…
    • Canterbury, Kent
    • 2 friends
    • 13 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    12/6/2009

    Great place tucked away into the packed, Butchery lane.

    The early evening, £11 for 2 courses deal (and a drink) is a winner!

    I had lamb meatballs for my starter which were really good! And I had the lamb brochette (spelling?) for the main. The lamb kebab was cooked excellently, the little sausages were good and it is a plentiful plate of food. So I was well filled!

    Highly recommended!

  • 5.0 star rating
    24/3/2013

    My friend and I had been meaning to try the food at this place ever since we arrived in Kent as students. We'd heard a lot about it and happily, it lived up to all the good reviews we'd heard!

    We went for a rather late lunch at 4 pm on a dreary cold Saturday in the first week of Spring that actually brought us snow. Not that we felt any of that once inside- the decor and place is warm and softly lighted which would also make the place ideal for a date! Since we arrived at an odd time, in between regular meal times, we had our pick of where we wanted to be seated and we chose to be downstairs.

    Since it was our first time here, we asked our server what she would recommend and specified our taste and meat preferences. She clearly knew what she was doing because we both went with her recommendation and we had no complaints!

    The portions were good sized. My friend opted for the seafood paella and I had the Chicken coucous which came with vegetables, a skewer of chicken, some lamb sausages and a jar of some delicious sauce that I pretty much finished all off with my food! Actually, neither one of us left anything on our place and though it led to us being terribly full neither one of us could complain because the food really was that good!

    If you're looking for a good place to eat in Canterbury you should definitely give this a try.

    • Qype User Beaker…
    • Canterbury, Kent
    • 28 friends
    • 89 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    8/1/2009

    I know a lot of people who love this place, so we decided to try it recently while they were offering a promotion of two courses for £11 with a drink. The food was lovely and made a nice change from the usual food we eat out, ie Italian, Indian and Chinese.

    We both had a seafood paella for a starter and although small, it was packed with a variety of seafood, not just prawns and mussels. My first course of hullumi cheese kebabs was very tasty too.

    Overall, the service was efficient and friendly and the food good. Looking at the whole menu, I thought it looked a little expensive (but it was just after Christmas and I may have been feeling a little mean my cash) and my partner's main meal at full price was almost as much as his whole meal at the promotional price.

    It is definitely worth trying for something a little different and the meal deal we had was also very good value for money.

    • Qype User klam13…
    • Canterbury, Kent
    • 0 friends
    • 7 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    26/3/2010

    Best meal I've had thus far in Canterbury (I've been here for 7 months). Ambiance is perfect and the staff was very accommodating. Came early on a Saturday night and hadn't booked a reservation but they managed to seat the three of us before the dinner rush. Couscous was amazing! As was the pork belly, the sauce was so luxurious. Had the baklava for dessert in the end and it had me begging for more. I would recommend this place to everyone!

    • Qype User Bertie…
    • Dover, Kent
    • 2 friends
    • 1 review
    4.0 star rating
    25/1/2011

    This is a very popular place tucked away in a Canterbury side street. Most of the restaurant is under ground in a crypt type of cellar, which is very old. We come here for a treat. The food is different and well worth sampling. A refreshing change from the Italian food that is everywhere in Canterbury. I don't remember there being any 'specials' on though.

    • Qype User JM2…
    • Whitstable, Kent
    • 1 friend
    • 3 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    14/10/2009

    Me and my work colleagues had a meal there last week and we were all delighted with the warm welcome we received. The stewards were friendly and knowledgeable, add a good attention to details and genuinely cared about our group. Everyone was impressed with the excellent food and drinks and will definitely come back privately with their partners. we had a selection of Tapas to start with with French bread, then a main meal + the usual desert and tea/coffees. the atmosphere was very pleasant, actualy the restaurant was quite busy too. the music was unobtrusive but clear enough to hear without shouting to each other. A great evening and would recommend it to everyone.
    PS: book ahead as Friday-Monday can get busy I understand!

    • Qype User Philip…
    • Canterbury, Kent
    • 0 friends
    • 3 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    15/5/2009

    An excellent place to eat; an expansive yet cosy cellar makes a nice change from the horrifically busy above ground restaurants. Especially good in this day and age to find good food for an agreeable price. Make good use of the offers for early evening - you can find yourself a proper meal with a drink for £8.50. Go Morroccan!

    • Qype User hayfor…
    • Canterbury, Kent
    • 0 friends
    • 8 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    11/8/2010

    One of my favourite places to go in Canterbury, and one we bring visitors to as well. It is over-priced but the food is delicious. I especially love the vegetarian mezze selections like houmous and spinach tortilla. And the sangria of course! If you are a carnivore try the roast pork belly or one of the tagines (the lamb in particular). Yum!

    • Qype User quinne…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 4 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    7/7/2011

    I think this is a lovely restaurant. The food is stunning and the ambience is also great. The staff are very attentive, and I thought the price matched the quality of the food. Overall it is fantastic.

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