Strasbourg. We tested: Darness, the Moroccan canteen

When we arrived, we opted for the terrace, the mild temperatures still allowing it that day. Be careful not to confuse it with the neighboring terrace of the Mandala (the Darness is also set up in part of the premises of this Indian restaurant) and not to sit in the wrong place! Quite quickly, we are taken care of by the waitress and we discover a menu with many proposals: kemia for the starter (a kind of small appetizers presented on a plate), tajine, couscous and kazdal (we will come back to this for explanations ).

For starters, it’s hard to ignore the hummus (€5) for me, one of the star dishes of Arab cuisine. My guest of the day falls back on the Moroccan salad (Rabat, the capital of Morocco, do you have it?) also at 5 €. Accompanied by soft and crispy bread, both dishes can be savored. The hummus is a bit watery and heavy in garlic, but it gets the job done. As for the salad, it shines with the quality of its sunny vegetables (cucumber, tomatoes, onions and coriander).

The meal is accompanied by a delicious mint tea (€2.50/person). The establishment also offers homemade drinks (in addition to the usual drinks): jasminade, iced tea and lemonade.

The advantage of the Darness is also its (small) terrace, and with the sun we make the most of it: the gastronomic journey is also in the head. Asked, the waitress tells us the origin of the word Darness, which means “the house of the world”. A name chosen in the image of the cuisine of the place which aims to be welcoming, “between childhood memories and the discovery of new flavours”.

But not too much time to dream of the medina of Fez and the palm groves of Ouarzazate, when our main dishes have already arrived. I chose the kazdal, one of the house specialties. It’s a msemen bread (which is a kind of rolled Moroccan pancake) with chicken (€9), garnished with lettuce, cucumber, tomato, red onions and pomegranates, all drizzled with a light cheese sauce. The kazdal is really good, and very filling (the fries that come with it complete my hunger for the day). It is made with care and the ingredients are refined.

My guest chooses the kefta tagine (€14), another classic of North African cuisine. This time, it’s served in a pretty traditional terracotta dish in which the recipe is made. It adds charm to the dish, whose creamy tomato sauce accompanies beef meatballs and a poached egg. It’s delicious and generous!

We will not have dessert, because we are already well sated by the dishes we have tasted. But Darness notably offers Moroccan pastries, msemen with honey or an orange salad with cinnamon.

The final mark!

The dishes are hearty, well cooked and delicious: no surprises on the menu, we eat well and we are not disappointed. The bet of the establishment, which wants us to discover Moroccan cuisine, is successful during this test. The dishes are indicated as homemade, and we gladly accept this quest for authenticity. We also get away with a small addition of €38 (for two), including starters, main courses and drinks.

The positive points

☆ Gourmet and generous cuisine

☆ Varied à la carte proposals

☆ Affordable prices

The negative points

☆ Hummus too watery for my taste

☆ A (slightly) small terrace

☆ Small appetites will find it hard to finish

Darness, 14 rue du Faubourg-de-Saverne, 67000 Strasbourg, open Monday to Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. www.darness.fr

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