Dar Naji is a colorful and ornate Moroccan restaurant. Located on the second floor of a building near Rabat’s medina, the restaurant gives diners a broad view of city life — and an earful of city traffic, depending on the time of day. Dar Naji is a favorite among Americans in Rabat. I’ve eaten here a few times, and have included details from one and pictures from multiple trips below.
The only way into Dar Naji is through a ground floor entrance. At the foot of stairs leading to the dining rooms, a waiter pours water over diners’ hands from a large silver teapot. Among palm trees, ceramic blue wall lamps and Moroccan antiques, diners can sit on terrace chairs or lounge against more traditional cushions covered in embroidered and somewhat scratchy fabric.
My groups always claim the cushions, which are located near the tagine tree (technical term). Here, tagines slow-cook meat over beds of coal against the blaze of an open oven.
The traditional salads, made of pickled, shredded carrots and aubergine pulp, have a very tangy and sometimes spicy taste:
And the bread is very dense and filling:
Perfect to sop up tagine juice from the national dish we inevitably order (They do offer American “humburgers,” but when in Rome…).
My tagine, made with beef, egg and plums, was juicy, fruity and very comforting in general. It would be perfect for anyone suffering from jetlag, exam stress or a Wisconsin winter.
Another friend ordered a chicken tagine with – yes – French fries and a lemon slice on top. French fries seem to be a common Middle East/North Africa food addition, though in contrast to the U.S., they put the fries directly in the food. (Mr. Fajita-style, for anyone who’s been to Lebanon.)
It’s great, but does give you that I-just-ate-McDonald’s feeling.
After finishing, we headed down the stairs to have our hands dribbled in rose water. On the street, a friend gave her leftovers to a baby cat.
And we continued into the night.