This place turned my dislike of lamb upside down.
Although the red Moroccan deco and a view of a belly dance were the main motives to visit this place - in the end what I fell in love with was their Lamb Tagine. . And trust me - I am not a fan of lamb in general. Soft, tender, aromatic, served in a delicious gravy with black olives - was just mouth watering.
It came as a disappointment that the expected belly dance did not actually take place but the music played in the background still did the trick and took you to an aromatic, exotic place ( in your imagination).
The dinner ended with delicious and refreshing mint tea.
Staff was not professional, they made us wait at the door instead of greeting us.
The couscous was dry and tasteless.
The menu was 'cheap', made of plastic and a bit dirty (greasy).
Table was too small even for 2, we couldn't fit the dishes and the glasses properly.
None of the staff was moroccan and they were playing Algerian music (since they don't know the difference).
Very good food, great location and a definite try with the right company.
We were let down by a cancelled booking at another restaurant, looking last minute for a place for 12 to eat right in the centre of soho seemed a fairly tough task, thankfully a friend came across this place and they could accommodate us downstairs.
Given the location the downstairs is surprisingly isolated, done up like a fairly typical middle eastern restaurant, you know the type, red valour, dim lighting and a tables so low you feel like your eating off the floor?.
We opted for the set 2 course menu and were presented with a mountain of food only to be told that this was just the starter....as with most sharing meals I have no idea what I ate but it all went down a treat.
What stops this place getting a 5.... The cost, 2 menu meal on a Friday night for 22.50 wasn't the killer (in fact it's pretty Damn good) , what stung was the overall price tag, 40 a head, considering only a couple of glasses of wine between the table and 2 or 3 bottles of beer a piece.
That been said, great evening, lovely social restaurant and with good company it's a winner.
Looking for a late lunch in Soho, it's pretty amazing how many places close around three o'clock - you would think that a city like London would be open throughout the day, but when all of our preferred lunch spots had shut their doors at this time we were forced towards Maison Touareg.
Maison Touareg is a Lebanese/Morrocan restaurant. It looks a little touristy from the outside, and on this occasion was almost completely dead on the inside - not the most appealing start! The decor is pleasing though, in a rich, warm Arabic way. The lanterns were particularly gorgeous, I want some for my house even though they would look ridiculous in my living room!
The menu is varied with larger dishes and tapas-style sharing dishes. We went for the later as we were planning on eating out again in the evening. The food was tasty although nothing spectacular - the favourites being the spicy sausages and the lamb kafta, both of which had a good kick to them. The portion are fairly small though, and it's likely you will leave having spent a fair amount and still feeling a little hungry - never a good way to part from a restaurant.
The Lebanese wine we tried was reasonable, although again expensive. The waitress, once we discovered she was Spanish and tried out our language skills on her, was friendly and helpful.
It was by no means a bad experience here, but I probably won't rush back, I'll just have to make sure I'm ready for my lunch a little earlier so I can make it to the tapas bar around the corner!
It was after 1am and we were wandering the streets for more drinks and nibbles when we stumbled (literally) upon this place.
The decor is very intimate and in a Middle Eastern style. We were seated immediately and ordered a few drinks. I had never had Efes beer before, and it was very nice, it has a hint of honey in it.
We ordered hummos, baba ghanoush, calamari, falafel, and a chicken pastry dish. All the dishes tasted very fresh and were seasoned very well. The falafels were the best I have tried since moving to London and I would defo go back just to eat them. The staff were attentive and the service was quick. The only thing that would have improved the meal was if they dished out a few more pitas with the hummos.
It was under £20 per person including tip which is a great price for the amount of food and drink we had.
At Maison Touaregue you'll find...
a. Really delicious food
b. Really reasonable prices
c. Really great location
d. Really strange staff that stares you down with eyes of death if you don't order a main course.
e. All of the above, really.
Answer = E
Sure, it's romantic, but just know that ALL of the above will be included. Including being awkwardly started at throughout your order of drinks and four starters.
... They will continue to stare until you've left. I didn't mind -- I was so utterly involved in my delicious love affair with my cocktail and hummus that I barely noticed. Hey, they say some people are into that, right? Count me in, apparently!
It's such a shame about this place, it's all mouth and no trousers. Or all decor and not enough food!
Yes the food is tasty.
Yes the staff a delightful.
Yes the decor looks authentic.
No the portions are not large enough.
No it is not value for money.
No I didn't leave feeling full.
I would have given Maison Touareg only two stars if it wasn't for the organic Beldi black soap in the bathroom! Sounds scary and it looked pretty scary too, but I love anything unusual and I was right in there (before I even looked at the sign!)
The sign above the bowl spoke of how the soap is used as part of the traditional hammam ritual. 'It is the first treatment in oriental public bath. With a texture of butter, this natural vegetable paste based with black olives and is rich in vitamin E.' If you want to read more, I have uploaded a photo of the literature, and a photo of the soap itself. Don't be afraid to try it because it's well worth it - my hand were left feeling the ladies in the Fairy advert! I might just have to hunt it down and put some in my bathroom!
If you like to be stared at while you eat, then this is the place for you!
While I cannot deny this restaurant is fairly cool with great Moroccan style comfy couches and furniture, I felt thoroughly creeped out. We only came in for drinks really. So when we just ordered startery things, they were not impressed and did not hide it. I could see the wheels in the server's head turn as she wondered whether she could demand we order more. She decided against it and eventually went away.
Think they were just irritated that we were taking up valuable Friday night real estate. So staff kept lingering around our table, asking us did we want more and even trying to set us up with more cutlery.
The food is really good though, try the rosemary bread with hummus. Tip: they apparently don't chill the house white, ask for ice cubes = classy.
The overall experience I would rate for ambience and food was 3-3.5/5. The ambience was nice as it looked Moroccan with the dimmed light, lampshades, and red with gold colored walls and décor.
Firstly in came in with a groupon voucher which I bought for £25 for 2 people. At the end of our meal we still had to pay the 2.5% gratuity fee (about £6.90). With the groupon voucher we each got:
1. A starter or dessert
2. A main
3. A drink (white, red, rose wine or a virgin cocktail)
We opted for the starter. I got a tebbuleh which was very oily. My friend got a meat pastry which he said was verrrry good.
For the mains we got chicken skewers which were overly salty and lamb tagine which had a little more fat than expected. The cous cous was great as was the tagine stew. The fruit in the plate complimented the food perfectly.
The servers were very nice but were very slow to do mostly anything. Took them ages to bring out our drinks (which they forgot about in the start and to which we had to ask about after our mains arrived). We opted for a lemonade Virgin cocktail. They charged us twice for the drinks in the end which wasn't great but the server was amazing to fix it right away.
With the groupon this was a great deal! Personally I found the food to be too expensive without the groupon as it would have been around £62. Even for london prices that's too expensive for an average meal. I would come back again if the groupon deal was to ever be available again.
I always have a very random time in here, entering for one of two reasons - it's late and we want some food, or we're suffering from "can't decide where to go in soho" syndrome and decide on here because it's free (or at least can be if you haggle!)
The problem with the first reason is that the place isn't cheap, and more like a restaurant than a late-night food stop, so you end up spending more than drunken munchies are worth. It is a novelty though to have some good food back-to-front with a bar/club night.
Downstairs has its own problems. It's a typical and good-looking Moroccan/Lebanese bar with all the cushions and lanterns you'd expect, but the music lets it down. Excuse me for being a granny, but it's just so loud, obnoxious and tasteless, and at odds with the bar's otherwise chilled ambience. This may not be the case every night, but it's always been what I've experienced. The drinks are also expensive.
I think the main problem with the bar is that it has a confused image - at once a relaxed shisha bar, a cheesy disco, and a respectable restaurant. The mix doesn't work, and ends up attracting a lot of random people, all not quite sure what they're doing in there.
But saying all of that, I have been back, mainly because, although expensive, the food is really good and upstairs is a nice place to sit. The service is also very good.
Before the smoking ban killed every ones' fun Maison Touaregue was a shishah bar. Now it is a Moroccan/Lebanese bar and restaurant. It is split across two quite small floors. On the first floor is a restaurant and downstairs there is a bar (though you can eat there too).
The first floor restaurant is well done, and has an authentic North African feel about it. The downstairs has low slung seats and tables with a tiny dance floor in front of the bar. I go downstairs for a fairly restrained night. The bar is a little expensive but has a wide range of beers, wine and cocktails.
The fun of the place is that it's open pretty late, and though fairly a relaxed place later on they start playing music and people dance, and request songs. Like getting drunk round a friends house if they lived in a riad.
I recently ate at Maison Touareg and found it to be wonderful! I ordered the Feast, and for 30 pounds (~$45) it was by no means cheap, but the amount of food wasn't paltry either. You get 2 appetizers, an entree, and some dessert baklava and mint tea.
For appetizers I selected the hummus and the pastilla. The hummus was literally one of the best hummuses I've ever had! It was perfectly seasoned and oiled. The pastilla was the only item not up to par. Pastilla (or bastilla) is a filo dough cake filled with shredded chicken and seasoned with cinnamon and powdered sugar. Before you scoff at the thought of chicken with cinnamon and sugar, trust me, it is really is a very good flavor combination. Anyway, while tasting great, the chicken in the pastilla was not shredded enough and the big chucks of breast meat caused it to be very dry. I've had better pastilla in NJ.
For an entree I had the Lamb Tagine, which came in a clay bowl marinated in a sauce with cooked prunes and apricots. Very tasty and tender meat.
The entree also came with a bowl of couscous which I only took a cursory spoonful of because I was already stuffed.
For dessert I actually took it back to NJ with me because I was too stuffed to eat it. The mint tea though was absolutely amazing!!!
Refuting some of the earlier comments on this establishment, I found the waiting staff to be better than most other places I experienced in England. Unlike other places, they seemed really attentive to our table. (No, they weren't staring us down the whole time.) Unlike other places, they didn't walk past our table of empty plates 4-5 times before finally taking our plates.
So, while not the cheapest place to eat, the portions are substantial, the food is exquisite, and the waiting staff is alert and helpful.
In a rush and hungry, we dove into Maison Touaregue for a bite and a cocktail. Our waiter was very accommodating and immediately took our food order, advising us on what dishes would come quickest. Next we ordered cocktails. They sounded disco, but I persevered and I am glad I did. I had a Sahara Flower and it was delicious. I dabbled with Laura's Moroccan in Moscow and that was arguably better than my incredibly tasty Flower.
The food arrived in short order and everyone's plates looked impressive. Again Laura had done well with her king prawn option. It was mammoth. My lamb tagine was good, but there was nothing upmarket or scintillating about it. Plus, what is with the prunes? It is probably something that has been in this dish for centuries, but it freaked me out having those things in with my lamb. Maybe if I hadn't bit straight into the first prune, chewing through nut and shell, I wouldn't of felt this way. My bad! Nevertheless I cleaned my bowl out.
What I implore you to get on every visit you have here is the rosemary bread - oh my God! It is some of the nicest dough to ever pass my lips. Seriously it was soft, fluffy with a toasted outer edge, that simply demanded love.
With traditional décor and an inviting atmosphere, I would recommend Maison Touaregue to anyone. Keep an eye out for their pre theatre options if you are in a rush.
I went there a few weeks back as a return customer, bringing a few more friends, and loved it all over again!
The decor, the food, the belly dancing... But mostly the food.
Couscous is a classic and very good!
I'd recommend both for groups of friends and for couples.
They have a special space downstairs where you can have mezze and possibly (not sure about this) smoke the shisha. Lovely!
Update (10-june-2010): Went again using the TasteLondon card. Meal portions looked ridiculously small on the plates, one of 4 dishes was completely forgotten (our friend ate after we did) and generally service, although very amicable, was slow. Very disappointed this time.
Went to Maison Touareg for a lunch recently with friends, we found it pleasant inside with friendly staff who were patient and attentive.
The restaurant is well located for Soho and has good music inside as well as comfortable seating.
For the lunch service there isn't the Belly Dancing or other items other reviewers have mentioned and we felt that the menu was fairly limited. There are three or four fish, three or four meat and a reasonable range of starters. I think we were probably expecting a bit more choice.
However, in our case it was the food itself that was the let down. Generally we found it very bland, we had mixed meat kebabs, a speciality fish dish and a number of starters. The starters were a generally good variety, although nothing that was special. The fish and the kebabs though weren't so good, with the fish lacking any taste except from the sauce which was quite thick and not complimentary. The kebabs were okay, but somewhat blackened in places and again didn't have much in the way of spice or interior taste. I regret to document that two of our party were not very well later that evening, but it is always hard to allocate that to a particular meal. Still, overall the general rating is a reflection of the food we had at the time, which in all fairness wasn't great.
Rice was well presented on the plates and as mentioned service was attentive and polite.
Back again, not good.
I loved Maison Tourag. We sat outside on the patio so we could smoke sheesha, which was delicious, and our lovely waiter gave us extra coals so we could smoke as long as we wanted. Food is nice, except the hummus was bland, as if there was no salt in it, but whatever. The inside decor and music is lovely, and every Saturday they have disco in the basement, and I think there are belly dancers and snake charmers.
I wanted to book my birthday party here, I loved it so much, especially since they have alcoholic sheesha, which apparently gets you all tipsy-ed up. According to the waiter, the most expensive sheesha on the menu makes you "forget your family, friends, everything". I don't think I will be trying that one, but sounds like it could result in quite a good night out if that is the sort of thing you are looking for.
However, I made a reservation for 15 people, for my birthday, and four days after I made it (and had told all my friends about it) they called and said as it was a big group, we would all have to pay a "Group" payment for a set menu. I wouldn't have minded if it meant we were getting a deal, but it raised the price of dinner considerably. It would have been almost 27 pounds per person, which is quite expensive, given that we could have paid 12 pounds each. Anyway, I cancelled and booked at a very similar restaurant down the street. But, I would definitely return here for sheesha and dinner!
This place is magical.
It was perfect when we went there last month and the food is great.
The place is astonishing with a nice atmosphere and friendly.
Everyone should go and check it out if they have'nt yet.
Misclassified as French, this is mediterrainian restaurant, when we went it was busy and whilst the food was acceptable the service wasn't!
We weren't given menus, then after 15 mins the waitress came to take our order, slightly difficult without knowing what's available. In the long wait for our main course we were asked if we wanted dessert and my beer never arrived. My wife's fork was dirty, and I've managed to write this whilst waiting for the bill to arrive.
In fairness, the manager did offer to comp us dessert on account of poor service, but we'd waited so long that we had to leave to catch our train
Poor service from staff that have no idea about what's happening
So why the 3 stars only? Well, customer service was not really their first priority at times, we got put downstairs where it was cold when there were plenty of tables upstairs, and the music was far too loud and we could not really hear each other.
Overall, we had a good time because as I said the meal/food was really really good and it was good value for money really.
We visited the restaurant on the weekend of London Pride so expected the restaurant to be busy, but we did not expect the service and food to be so terrible. Probably one of the worst restaurants we've been to in Soho.
The service was lousy. We were advised not to order one of the dished because it took too long to make, so we opted for chicken and mixed grills. Although the menu stated that they came with rice or cous cous, we had to ask the waitress to give us that choice and then she did so with attitude. She kept wandering off as we were ordering.
The chicken wing starter looked like it had been microwaved and was pale and pasty. The dipping sauce looked good, but tasted like brown sauce without any flavour.
The main dishes were dry, bland and tasteless. The rice was so overcooked that it had become crunchy in some parts and the salad had shriveled in the heat - surprising as the restaurant was soo busy.
The Long Island Iced tea pitcher had virtually no alcohol in it.
We complained at the end of the meal to the head waitress, who explained that our waitress was having a bad day. She offered a complimentary glass of champagne to consider coming back to the restaurant again in the future.
We were really looking forward to our meal at Maison Touareg as we all love Moroccan food, however we were very disappointed. I'd like to give 0 starts, but 1 star is the lowest i can rate this restaurant.
My first date with my husband was here, and I hadn't at all remembered to review this place!
Let's be honest from the get go. The fifth star is only because it was our first date.
All the other stars it is because it deserves it. We were served by the manager, he was very kind and listening the french flow from my date was lovely (not so much anymore ;) I remember his main course more than mine. Possibly because it tasted a lot better than mine. He had the Cous Cous Royale, massive portion with veggies and a spicy saucisson, lovely conversation over a bottle of red and later we moved downstairs for a more romantic cuddle, over beer and a shisha. Of course, with the smoking that no longer exists. However, it is still more than worth a visit to the lower ground floor.
Like many Morrocan/ Lebanese restaurants the decoration is impeccable and at night with candles it is still as romantic as it was three years ago.
my dining experience made me a fan of both living social and masion tourag. (i'm obviously a buyer of group deals through groupon and living social but the vendors and packages through living social are far better than groupon in london.)
this is a lebanese/moroccan restaurant in the heart of soho. great location. and with all the restaurants in soho, it's really hard to tell what's good and worth it so the deal was an eye-opener to a dinner or late night munchie as they're open until 3a.
service was a little slow when we first arrived but i think it was due to staff shortage because once we placed our order, service was impeccable with the timing of the food and follow-ups. food was good - we had a few mezzes, chicken tagine and the mixed meat skewers.
only caution is that their wine list is wanting. stick to arak or beer.
and there's a belly dancer. she was good, especially compared to the 60 year old blond dancers we had in california. but i think the drummer/percussionist outshone her.
My first visit to Afghan Kitchen had been unique because I remembered it for the best rice I had ever had. You rarely remember a restaurant for such basic staples. The second such instance was at Maison Touareg ... their peta bread were just divine. I could just finish my dinner with this bread and hummus without requiring anything else.
Maison Touareg looks like one of the many standard tourist traps of Soho. I admit that it is pricey (a dinner here can easily set you back by more than £30) but the quality is far better than what one would usually find in that locality ... and this is reflected in the crowd of diners.
The restaurant is spread over two levels. The basement is occasionally used as a party venue.
This place serves a variety of Turkish, Lebanese and Moroccan dishes. I would recommend going for their Beirut feast (if you are in a small group) or the Marrakech feast (if you are one of a relatively larger party). These allow you to sample a number of dishes for a reasonable cost.
Their peta bread is great ... but the accompaniments are good too. They make some of the best moussaka that I have ever tried. The aubergines were cooked to perfection ... so much so that the absence of meat didn't seem to diminish anything from the experience. The chicken and hummus were good. I particularly liked a variation of flavoured yoghurt that they served. Unfortunately I cannot recall its name at the moment.
For the main course I have tried the beef tagine and some of their meat skewers. The meat was tender which made the tagine a delight to eat. However I felt that the quantity served was somewhat less than what I expected. The meat in the skewers were slightly tougher in texture ( out of necessity perhaps) but good to eat nevertheless.
They had a limited selection of middle-eastern and European wines. The Moroccan red that we went for had a light fruity taste ... quite apt for our meal I would say.
The Beirut feast had a dessert component too. Although I love baklava (and the ones here are good), I enjoyed the mint tea more. That was probably the result of the winter visit.
I will keep coming back here for more. It's my best recommendation for Turkish food in Soho.
Service a little slow - and they forgot some tap water.
Food was of good quality - not outstanding - but interesting spices. We got a pre-theatre deal of 2 courses for £15, which was pretty good value - especially on a Saturday early evening!
Lamb tagine was a little watery as was the couscous but flavours of the sauce were strong enough to gloss over this.
Cocktails good. I'm not sure I'd want to go here in the late evening for the dancing etc, but the food we had was quite good for an early/pre-theatre sojourn.
beautiful decor inside! nice food! bit too expensive! i know its soho but you can vget a good, filling meal for half the price in alot of the restaurants I've been to in soho...you shouldn't use location as an excuse...just quality...
We ate lunch here on our holiday in London. The food was good. We had tagine plates. We snacked on the olives, sausages and hummus before the meal. Everything was quite good. The decor is appropriate and I would definitely return. The service was fine but there really weren't many people in the restaurant at the time.
Its a place you have to be for dinner and picnics.With the amazing atmosphere,awaresome hospitality,menu that is all complete and food that is all tasty, Maison Touareg is in a class of its own in West End London.Its stands on its own perculiar quality and hospitality. I would recomemend a picnic or dinner for you and your group at Maison Touareg. Its a place you can't forget!
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