Apparently, a few years ago, two Moroccan restaurants in Shanghai were two too many. Now the original owner of both (El Wajh, now closed) has launched a new restaurant in Tianzifang and it’s fine, authentic business as used-to-be.
A large one-page menu is dominated by a selection of tagines. These earthen pots of heavy clay contain a rich, sultry stew that represents Andalus’ specialty, and there are a dozen options on offer from the classic chicken with lemon and olive (RMB108) to lobster and Moroccan spices (RMB268). We found the lamb, fig and almond (RMB148) to be a tremendously succulent leg of meat in a sweet and complex stew.
One is almost enough to share if only the appetizers were up to scratch and could round out the meal. A plate of cheese cigars (RMB40) is small and bland, and the hummus (RMB45) needs something more than the mini pitas to give it life.
Which is why our favourite was Andalus’ easily overlooked couscous dishes. These tagine-prepared infusions of Moroccan semolina, vegetables and chicken, beef or lamb (RMB108-148) topped with a secret chickpea sauce are hearty, huge and delicious, worthy of coming for alone if you can bear the tourist sink that is Tianzifang. It’s not an altogether wrong location, but we can’t help but wish it were somewhere more comfortable and sedate.
- 021 5450-0701
- No. 2, Tianzifang, Lane 248 Taikang Lu (near near Sinan Lu) [map]
- 上海市泰康路248弄田子坊2号 (近思南路)
- ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆