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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 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.