Moltaqa (“a place where people gather”) is Gastown’s latest addition. Moltaqa serves up Moroccan cuisine in a beautiful, ornate space. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in the evening you’ll be treated to belly dancing and live music.
I came here recently with Diana for lunch. We ordered a Vegetable Pastilla, Chicken Merguez Couscous Lunch Plate, Lamb Apricot Tagine and the Cumin Lamb and Roasted Vegetables sandwich.
Our first dish was the Vegetable Pastilla ($15.75). The Pastilla comes in limited amounts, so I was intrigued to try it. To my surprise, it comes as one big Phyllo pastry-pie. The pastilla has different types of vegetables inside like carrots, onions, olives that’s baked in a phyllo pastry and sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon.
I’m not quite sure why this dish costs as much as it does, as it’s mostly vegetables inside. Yes, it’s a specialty item and authentically Moroccan, but I don’t think the price tag justifies the filling.
Up next is the Lamb Shank Apricot Tagine ($16.75). This dish is served with a side of seasoned couscous. Inside the tagine you’ll find a nice portion of lamb and root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and squash. The flavour from the sauce is nice and not too over powering, it compliments and masks the lamb a little bit which is good. The lamb is tender and comes off the bone easily. It’s a good portion to share, especially for lunch.
You might want to order some extra couscous.
Next dish is the Chicken Merguez Couscous Lunch Plate (you can get this with lamb instead – $13.75). You get two Halal sausages and it’s served on a bed of couscous and root veggies. I liked this dish a lot, it had a lot of flavour in it’s sauce and had the right amount of it to cover the couscous. There’s enough here to share as well, but this is the perfect portion for lunch.
Finally, the Cumin Lamb and Roasted Vegetables sandwich ($10.75). Served with marinated cucumber and tomatoes on the side. The sandwich is in a nice, crisp but soft on the inside bread. There’s a lot of flavour to unpack here – from the seasoned vegetables inside, feta, sauce and olives. The cumin lamb are spread in chunks in the sandwich – I found the lamb a bit on the dry side.
Overall, I enjoyed the flavours here at Moltaqa. Many of the dishes were great and I’d definitely come back again.
For more information and their menu, check out their website here: http://www.moltaqarestaurant.com