Since moving to 'sarf' London with Choux Boy last month I've felt a bit lost with my dining options. No more Tas Firin, no more Muhib curry on Brick Lane, no more Viet-Ho on Kingsland Road. Ok, enough the 'East is best' hipster-pretence chat, I need to reset my default dining settings.
So with that in mind, and the fact that Choux Boy and I hadn't been on an actual 'date' since we moved in together, I dragged him off to new-ish Moroccan Doukan on Old York Road on Wednesday. The press release boasted: 'truly authentic Moroccan restaurant opened last month in leafy Wandsworth Town by culinary heavyweight Khalil Abdesslem, owner of Nomades Foods one of London's top suppliers of the finest Moroccan sauces and condiments.' My tummy was rumbling.
'Do you think I can have hummus?' I asked Choux Boy.
'Hummus isn't Moroccan.'
Told. Ok, my hummus-obsession got a mis-signal.
Hummus or not Doukan was pretty packed (always a good sign), and, we were told when we arrived, Channel 4's The F word were in filming (must be a good sign). Was that ok? Give me a menu and a glass of wine and I'm sure it will be fine. The clientele looked typically Wandsworthian - older couples and thirty-somethings with their babies. One of which was crying, right in my ear.
'See in East London there weren't any babies,' I hissed a Choux Boy.
'Oh, Filo she's just tired and hungry and irritable, like someone else I think...'
Fortunately our waitress appeared with my Moroccan white wine (when in Rome... it was called Ksar 2007 for any wine buffs - it was, ok) and the Boy's beer.
First up starter Halumi Maquli - lightly fried halloumi with fig chutney. The batter was perfectly just there and the halloumi a world away from the chewy teeth squeaking variety I've had so often. The fig chutney had a hint of Turkish delights to it that me and the Choux struggled to put our finger on - rose water? It was good.
Next up we did the classic half and half order of Chicken Mcharmel Tagine (aromatic chicken tagine in coriander, tomato and green olive sauce with couscous) and Kefta mechouia (grilled lamb kefta with fragrant shallot salad and couscous). Doukan is big on the authentic touches (and the menu says everything is made fresh on site), so my tagine came all roasty in a proper tagine dish. Both the chicken and the lamb were well cooked and tender and couscous very light and fluffy. The shallot salad was, well, just a salad and we never did manage to work out what that orange sauce was, but it did taste good.