“ 375 King Street, Hammersmith, London, W6 9NJ.Tel: 02085637266 „
375 King Street
I absolutely adore Azou! Not out of conscious choice, but my eateries tend to be chains, so when me and my husband stumbled across this small independent restaurant, I was a bit out of my depth. But that was 6 years ago and we still eat there after all this time!
Located just beyond the busy and trendy Chiswick High Street and just before Hammersmith, this small Moroccan restaurant is easy to miss. Decorated outside in blue and white, it is slap bang in the middle of all the other independent eateries. I've only visited this restaurant on cool nights (my preference for slow cooked spicy Moroccan food has meant when it is particularly warm, I choose to eat somewhere else). I say this because I have noticed that it can get quite stuffy in the restaurant and I reckon this is due to the heavily draped fabric décor.
Don't get me wrong, I love the décor. It is very homely - with cushions, velvet benches, drapes and the traditional style lower tables and chairs making up the bulk of the restaurant. I would say the max capacity of this restaurant is somewhere between 50-70 people, no more. But once stuffed inside you either feel like the walls are closing in or excited about the intense atmosphere.
The staff at this place are amazing - I will stick my neck out and say I have received the best service at this place compared to all the restaurants I have visited so far in my life. I am always greeted with a smile, a very polite "How are you?" and attentive service. I have absolutely no complaints about the staff, and 100% no qualms about the owner, Chris (I believe his name is).
A tip for parking. There are side roads along Chiswick High Street. In the evenings, parking is free and we have never had a problem with finding parking space.
My all time favourite at Azou's is the started Brik. Like a really posh fish and chips, it is a battered pastry stuffed with an egg, tuna and potatoes. When you cut into it, the yolk just oozes out onto the plate. Partnered with a sprinkling of lemon juice, this is to die for!
Now I have been visiting this place for a long time. So long in fact that the menu has changed several times. There was once a lamb tagine dish (called Tagine Royale or something like that) which had all the right spices for my palette (tomato based, peas, no sultanas or prunes (yuck!)). Unfortunately, that changed. However, every time I go there, I request this obsolete dish and not once have I been turned away. The chef is always able to accommodate my tastes, making it more spicy if I'm feeling particularly adventurous!
Hubby's favourite dish is the Couscous Royale - a meat feast Moroccan style! Any meat loving man would adore this dish as the meat is piled on the plate, sauce on the side and plenty of couscous to soak up the meat juices.
With the tagines you are served pitta bread which keeps on coming if you run out!
The deserts, unfortunately, are nothing mind blowing with the usual ice cream and sorbet combinations. The only decent desert are the baklavas and you get about 6 small baklavas in a portion. However, after the heavy main, I'll be surprised if anyone would go for the desert!
Instead of desert, I like to unwind (and settle my stomach) with some mint tea. In the past (pre-smoking ban), I've seen customers enjoy a Shisha from their Shisha menu, but alas, that enjoyment is now banned.
Not the cheapest place in town but for the food and service, it is definitely worth paying that little bit extra.
A dinner for two will set up back about £40 (minus drinks).
This place is a joy to be in. Not only because of the outstanding service, but the fact that a restaurant can make you feel so special. I have had the owner on occasions sit at the bar and hum to the background music - so comfortable that his customers are happy and enjoying themselves that he is able to relax and enjoy himself.
Azou offers the very best in Moroccan, Algerian & Tunisian cuisine, which will appeal to all the senses. Our menu reflects the huge variety of dishes from North Africa - from delicious salads, kemia (mezze) & pastries to couscous and tajines (meat, fish & vegetarian). Choose from classic dishes, or Azou's own, which incorporate Mediterranean and contemporary influences. The focus is on well-sourced and freshly cooked ingredients.