El Wajh, part of a trio of food and beverage outlets comprising itself, Lan Na Thai, and Face Bar, serves cuisine as exotic as its name sounds. The restaurant, which has been open for 9 months, is already making a name for itself on the local culinary scene. Moroccan food may be as yet unfamiliar to Indonesians, but it appears that this will not be the case much longer. It is no surprise that a country so intrinsically rich with culture is home to breathtakingly-presented food.
- The Vibe
Thick curtains hanging from the ceiling, as well as intricately carved mirrors adorning the walls, add to the palatial atmosphere. Tall blue stools line the bar counter, while arched walkways overseeing the path leading to the restaurant will make you feel as if you are truly walking down a Moroccan street. Shisha pipes are available at the bar, and the painted glass lanterns throughout the premises indeed add a pretty touch. With such an aesthetically beautiful interior, one's mood is set for that perfect dining experience. The crowd consists of mainly French expatriates as well as people of different nationalities, testament to the fact that good food and atmosphere is enjoyed by anyone regardless of race.
- The Food
The restaurant serves a spread of Moroccan cuisine that is pleasing to the eye, and will suit almost any palate. For those eager for a cold drink in the heat of the Jakarta afternoon, try the Moroccan Smoothie. It's a blend of fresh banana, strawberry, orange, honey and grenadine. Pleasantly sweet, with a tinge of banana and strawberry flavours, this refreshing concoction is a surefire crowd-pleaser. Or, order the Chouchou. This alcohol-free mocktail consists of pineapple juice, passion fruit and lychee juice, clearing the palate and leaving a refreshing aftertaste.
A good starter that will tantalise your tastebuds has to be the Taboule. Made of couscous Semolina, tomato, cucumber, onion, red paprika, mint leaves with smoked salmon and shrimps, the ingredients are minced and moulded together to make up this fascinating dish. Both aesthetically and gastronomically pleasing, it is easy to tell why this is a Moroccan staple.
Unadventurous diners will often avoid lamb dishes due to its characteristically pungent flavour. However, El Wajh's version of lamb shank is one that will win even the most discerning of diners over. Honey-marinated and then stewed for two hours, the result is a dish of soft, succulent chunks of meat that fall off the bone upon a touch of the knife, and which simply melt in your mouth.
Another recommendation would be the Coriander Prawn, which is tiger prawn sautĂ©ed in olive oil with coriander and pistachio. The herb brings out the freshness of the prawns quite nicely, while pistachios' distinctive flavour gives a nice twist to this seafood dish. Order it as a complement to your other dishes.
- The Service
The staff is warm and friendly, treating customers more like friends than as patrons. The chef is obviously very passionate about his food, and it shows.
The SD Food Advisor's Take on El Wajh:
Despite being relatively new, promise is apparent in El Wajh. There is a second level with a capacity of 12 where private parties may be hosted. With the pretty interiors and satisfying food, it offers the perfect setting for that intimate dinner with friends.
About The Author
Vivien Goh, Writer for Singapore
Taking on life with a fun-loving and cheerful disposition, Vivien is an avid outdoor sports lover who enjoys windsurfing and swimming. As an English graduate from the National University of Singapore, she asserts a pragmatic approach in her writing style. Being part of the editorial team is a dream come true for Vivien who has always envisioned herself to be a writer. Vivien's ultimate fantasy is to have a house by the beach where she can enjoy her favourite sea sports whenever she has time between articles.