Tucked away off 50th Street, right behind the A&W in Leduc, is a little gem of a spot called Moroccan Cuisine.

The restaurant has been up and running for about 1.5 years and I’ve heard nothing about it other than reading a short thread on Chowhound. They offer a lunch buffet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays but we headed out on a Saturday and ordered off the menu.
We had the opportunity to try the soup harira ($2.95), an aromatic blend of lentils, chickpeas and spices; just what you need on a cold winter day.

The salad is a plate of 5 portions of veggies. Some are marinated in garlic, lemon and cilantro and others (potatoes, cabbage, carrots and a tomato/cucumber/onion mixture) are spiced with cumin, paprika and cayenne. Big flavour, nice selection of veggies and good for sharing.

Then there was the chicken bastilla which sounded so unusual we had to try it. The ground chicken is seasoned to perfection (again with moroccan spices) and then baked inside a pastry, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. In no time at all the forks were flying and we were fighting each other for the last bite.

Entrees consisted of two tagine dishes, one with chicken and the other with lamb. A tagine is a clay pot that consists of a  conical top, and a round shallow bottom. It is designed this way so that all the condensation that happens during the slow cooking process stays inside and keeps the ingredients moist. It’s brilliant.

The chicken tagine came with green olives, lemon and peppers. The scent was incredible, the meat tender and the tangy lemons and briny olives transported me to a bazaar far, far away. I would’ve rocked the kasbah had there been one nearby.

I went out on a limb with the lamb tagine and ordered it with prunes. You can order it with apricots, but I was feeling a little wild out there in Leduc. This dish was so, so good…flavoured with cinnamon and olives, and magic, I think.

Dessert is included with the meal, along with Moroccan mint tea. All of that for about $30, folks. Definitely worth the trip out.  I’m heading back this week for the buffet.

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