Review: The Sultan’s Tent & Café Moroc

Once again I would like to write about one of my biggest passions, food.  Specifically, in this case, the best restaurant for Moroccan food I’ve tried – The Sultan’s Tent & Café Moroc. The restaurant is located on one of the most emblematic streets of downtown Toronto, Front street – a street known for accommodating some of Toronto’s most famous sites, including the CN Tower, Fairmont Royal York, and Union Station. At 49 Front street east, near Berczy Park, you find this French-Moroccan restaurant housed in Toronto’s only remaining historic cast iron building, serving meals typical of a sultan.

For decades the original Sultan’s Tent at Bay and Yorkville delighted diners in Toronto seeking an evening of entertainment, good food, and romance in a transporting traditional Moroccan experience. The original Sultan’s Tent was closed in 2002 when its location was slated for demolition to make way for a high-rise. Purchased from the original “Sultan”, Nagi, The Sultan’s Tent & Café Moroc has been relocated a stones throw from St. Lawrence Market in downtown Toronto.

My date and I arrived on a wet Sunday evening and from the moment we stepped in we were treated like royalty.  The reception from everyone was friendly and hospitable, and our waiter was exceptional.  

Stepping into The Sultan’s Tent is like stepping onto a one thousand and one night fable. The decor has Moorish arabesque touches resembling a Sultan’s palace of imagination and a poetic harmonizing between man and the natural world. Its interior walls borrow their hues from the earth and desert sand muted reds and honeyed yellows – the belly dancers, ambient lighting and traditional decor certainly amp up the charm.

The Sultan's Tent & Cafe Moroc

The Sultan's Tent Bar

The Sultan's Tent dinning area

The Sultan’s Tent offers up a wide array of  menu offerings, from the quintessential tagine to a house made Casablanca burger.  

They don’t shy away from using Moroccan spices and olive oil and present a rich and tasty menu. They stay true to the culinary star of North Africa.  

Every dish I tasted is a mélange of Mediterranean African, Arab, French, Berber, Moorish, and Middle Eastern, Mediterranean African.  Featuring a newly flexible menu, the kitchen has managed to enhance each dish with fruits, dried and fresh ingredients. What we enjoyed:

Starters: 

Maftoul – $8

Moroccan Cigar, Moroccan spiced beef and raisins. Savoury Moroccan-inspired beef filling, hand-rolled in a crisp, delectable phyllo wrapper, which is pinched at each end to resemble a cigar.

Moroccan Cigar, Moroccan spiced beef and raisins

Hummus and Pita – $6

Housemade Hummus, El Ouazzania oil, marinated olives, pita. The flavors were well-balanced, and it was smooth, natural, and creamy in all the right ways. It wasn’t too oily, had that earthiness you look for in good hummus.

hummus

Entrees:

Australian Lamb Provencal with Pesto – $39

Slowly cooked vegetables, cooked with tomatoes and potatoes. The lamb chops were juicy, and cooked just as I asked, to a perfect medium-rare temperature. 

The pesto rub was extremely flavourful with just the right amount of salt to compliment the potato purée.

Australian Lamb Provencal with Pesto - Lamb, caramalized dates, cashews, green zucchini, tomatoes, saffron rice

Braised Lamb Shank – $27

Lamb, caramelized dates, cashews, green zucchini, tomatoes, saffron rice. Full of flavour without the gamey taste, the juicy tender meat literally falls off the bone.

Braised Lamb Shank  - Lamb, caramalized dates, cashews, green zucchini, tomatoes, saffron rice

Desserts:

Olive Tapenade New York Style Cheesecake – $12

Olive marmalade, black olive caramel, coffee crunch, coffee jelly, banana. This decadent warm cheese cake is definitely a show-stopper!

Olive Tapenade New York Style Cheesecake - Olive marmalade, black olive caramel, coffee crunch, coffee jelly, banana

Milk Chocolate Semifreddo – $12

Strawberry jelly, honey yogurt, chocolate German cake. If you are not familiar with Moroccan-styled yogurt (raib) its taste may be unusual.

The chocolate German cake had a crunchy texture and distinctive taste.

Milk Chocolate Semifreddo - Strawberry jelly, honey yogurt, chocolate German cake

A cup of  Maghrebi tea to end the meal. Maghrebi mint tea is a green tea with mint leaves and other ingredients. It is part of Moroccan culture. 

Two cups of sweet mint tea

Apart from the à la carte menu, The Sultan’s Tent offers a 3-Course pre-fix $55 menu and offers a variety of dishes for all pallets.
 
Visit The Sultan’s Tent & Café Moroc to experience the cuisine, culture and history of Morocco. The Sultan’s Tent is without a doubt one of the most ethnic and interesting restaurants that Toronto has to offer, and it has gone through great lengths to make authentic Moroccan food appealing to guests with any palate.
 
The delicious food and wonderful belly dancing show, coupled with great service and beautiful surroundings make this a restaurant I can highly recommend.
 
Special thanks to The Sultan’s Tent for hosting me as their guest.

The Sultan's Tent & Café Moroc on Urbanspoon

4 Responses to Review: The Sultan’s Tent & Café Moroc

  1. This article makes my mouth water!! I have been this exotic restaurant with friendly staff and sumptuous dishes and I totally agree with your comments. I would highly recommend it as well.

    Thoroughly enjoyable article, William! Thank you.

    Mary Marciello September 29, 2014 at 4:03 PM Reply
  2. Wow looks like a special – and delicious place.

    cindamackinnon October 8, 2014 at 1:16 PM Reply
  3. Wow! This place looks and sounds amazing. We will have to check it out when we are back in toronto for christmas.
    Keep up the great work!

    onemoderncouple October 13, 2014 at 1:06 PM Reply
    • Thank you very much! And yes, definitely a great place for dinner and show.

      Will Castillo October 27, 2014 at 11:46 AM Reply

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