Friday Couscous

Every Friday lunchtime a large ornate clay tagine dish arrives on the ground floor of the charity Henna Café, which is where many visiting guests and local Marrakshi and Marrakshia’s will come to get an education for free in a number of subjects.

Aside from the black flags flying aloft the many Mosques around the medina’s riads, this dish indicated that it is indeed a Friday. The tajine pot is filled with freshly made couscous from Tarique and his brother Hassan who run a small convenience store opposite. As the hardest of all Moroccan dishes to make correctly, couscous is saved each week for this special day of worship in the Islamic calendar.

After ten minutes Tarique arrives with two friends as he vacates his shop temporarily to walk the two meters to the Henna Café, and they commence with spoons to eat.  As the meal continues, three others arrive as Tariques friend is departing and exchange a few courteous words between the group before finding a stool, spoon and a small section of couscous to eat. This process goes on for a further forty five minutes with around 15 men, including the host, coming and going after a few mouthfuls and a small but intimate catch-up.

Not seen however outside the medina walls of the old cities around Morocco, this national cultural custom is an example of the hospitality and brotherhood shared among those of the Muslim faith living and working inside these close knit and traditional parts of many Moroccan cities and a very good reason to visit Morocco.

An authentic traditional feeling of homeliness and unpretentious welcoming is what makes the riads of Marrakech-riad the warm and unforgettable experience that they are for so many, and what aid in making your visit to Marrakech exquisite.

If one had to think of a city where it would be easy to find slightly more exotic international cuisine then Marrakech is not perhaps one of the places that immediately springs to mind. However such preconception is misplaced as in recent years there is a new breed of Marrakchi or expat restaurant owners who are bringing new flavours and feels to Marrakech. This particular restaurant is one of a very small number of restaurant that serve sushi and Japanese food in general in Marrakech and it does so with great style, the restaurant itself is strikingly decorated and the style of decoration continues with the food presentation, menus and general ambience. These combine to give the restaurant a wonderful atmosphere and one that is certainly different to the average ambience of a restaurant in Marrakech.


The food itself is delicious and very reasonably prices, it is easily possible for two people to eat for under 300 dirhams, the one downside is that they do not serve alcohol, but in a way this just serves to add to the atmosphere as it contributes to the restaurants clean feel. The restaurant offers a selection of Japanese dishes, ranging from numerous types of shushi and sashimi to teryaki style skewers and tempura. For value for money and general depth of experience a sushi platter is thoroughly recommended as one is able to try a wide variety of sushi at a generally competitive price, the food not only tastes good but is also very aesthetically pleasing, in keeping with the restaurant’s general stylish aura. The restaurant also has an interesting supply of drinks with iced chai tea being particularly good along with the lemon and ginger juice. The position of Ocha sushi on the rue Yugoslavie means it is easily accessible from central Gueliz or by a 15 minute walk/ 3 minute taxi ride from Jemaa el Fna. Our Riads are wonderfully placed in the Medina for easy access to this restaurant and indeed the majority of the finest things that Marrakech has to offer. Book a room now and you can experience all the wonders of Marrakech from a luxurious and wonderfully situated Riad in the heart of the historic Medina.