Entering the beautiful aqua-green door of this private home in Moulay Idriss, an hour away from Fes, you would be forgiven for needing a moment to catch your breath –the steps up to it were a little steep, the lanes a little narrow. The reward is well worth it –coming for lunch at Scorpion House is a treat not to be missed when in Morocco.
The décor of the house is the most delightful assortment of artefacts, sourced by Mike, collector and foodie extraordinaire, and owner of not only Scorpion House, but also of the fame Café Clock, with eateries situated in Fes, Marrakech and Chefchaouen, an institution in Morocco –camel burger anyone?
After admiring the quirky design and eclectic arrangements of objects carefully displayed in the house, which Mike sourced during his travels or at the local souks, you reach the terrace, which has the most fabulous view over Moulay Idriss and the eye-catching green tiles of its Mausoleum.
And just when you think things couldn’t get any better, the host pours you a glass of icy cold local vin gris –if ‘grey wine’ does not appeal to you, simply think rosé with little or no maceration time, giving it its very clear looks. An absolute delight on a hot day. He also hands you a personalised menu with your name printed on it –a very classy touch. Now the feast can begin.
On a golden tray appear bowls of colourful, varied salads. Peas, broad beans, carrots, beetroot and artichokes, just to name a few, compete for best looking dish ever. It is fresh, minty, modern yet typical, spiced to perfection. The tapas style dishes keep coming. Pretty salads and zaalouk accompany the crisp main, chermoula sardines and tiny chargrilled kebabs. And finally, a light orange cake and some Moroccan pastries end the meal, not without lashings of mint tea of course.
Leaving this peaceful haven, I am suddenly glad there are a few steps leading down the hill –I somehow need to stretch. Which dish did I like best? Do not ask me to choose. It is the assortment that won me over.
Lyndey Milan is an award-winning multi-media presenter, MC, speaker, food & wine teacher, consultant, debater, judge, Royal Agricultural Society councillor, regional Australian specialist and Creative Director of Flame Media, an international TV Production and distribution company & studio kitchen in Sydney.