Review of 'Azou'

Living in the Hammersmith area we are spoilt for choice for restaurants though truly good ones are few and far between. We regularly walk the high street between Hammersmith and Chiswick but have never visited the intriguing looking “Azou” with it's dimly lit interior, fabric hanging from the ceiling, obviously done up in a North African, or Moroccan theme. We have always said we would like to visit but this week we actually did. What did we think? Well, not bad at all.

Looking out Front Window

Azou is located a short distance east of Goldhawk Road where it meets King Street, a short walk from Stamford Brook tube station and could, perhaps, easily be missed. We visited early on a Friday night and, despite not having a reservation, were given table though told it would need to be back in about an hour and a half (this is a bit of a pet peeve of me but I set this aside for now, grateful really of being able have a table in the first place). There are about 10-12 tables in the small restaurant around the rather large cicular bar towards the front. A “feature” table in the front window is typically Morrocan - Low seats surrounding an equally low table dressed on top of a serving tray (!) - But all the other tables are “normal” and somewhat cramped. There were only three tables occupied when we arrived but by the time we left they were pretty much full.


The menu is quite simple, appearing on a single A4 piece of laminated paper with food divided into “Appetisers”, “Tajines”, “Couscous”, “Grills” and “Salads & Sides”. It is most definitely not a huge menu. The other side of the A4 consists of drinks with nothing particularly interesting. A separate dessert menu is quite short but includes more traditional Morrocan drinks such as mint tea.


We started with a “Bastilla” (£11.50; “chicken, onion, raisins, saffron, almonds & egg in filo pastry”) which was absolutely heavenly with obvious spicing including cinnamon not in any way overpowering the flavour of the filling which was savoury-sweet. The crispy filo gives the whole dish a wonderful crunch but is not oily in any way. You would be hard pressed to really say what was in it other than it was deliciously savoury, nutty and delicately spiced. Served in the middle of a large plate with “decorative” nuts and pomegranate pips, it was an attractive dish that we quickly demolished between the two of us.


For our mains, we ordered a tagine and couscous, both of which we determined to share though our server said that most order individually a single main (with, perhaps a side). The couscous was “Merguez” (£16.50; “traditional style North African spicy lamb sausages”) which was quite wonderful with just the right amount of vegetables and thin, cured, sausages adding an accent of sharp smoky flavour though my companion found them a bit too strong for her liking. The couscous was cooked perfectly, eagerly soaking up the sauce provided on the side.


We also had the “Tajine Marrakech” (£18.95; “lamb shank and vegetables in an aromatic sauce”) which was served painfully hot which only slightly slow us down in devouring the entire thing. Large pieces of vegetables (potatoes, carrots and other root veg) were accompanied by a large melt-in-the-mouth piece of lamb that was shredded easily with a fork (there was no bone). This would have been better with a side of bread or couscous but, hey, it was great anyway and I was able to use my spoon to lap up the juices in the bottom of the tagine. The entire dish was a bit on the bland (and temperature hot!) side but perfectly cooked.

Lime Sorbet

When the small dessert menu was brought around we opted for the “Lemon Sorbet” (£4.50; “tangy citrus sorbet with orange-blossom sauce and almonds”) which was quite a delight with the huge contrast between the tang of the lemon and the sweetness of the sauce (though, sadly, no almonds seemed to have made an appearance).


We also ordered the “North African baklava cakes” (£5.50; “traditional honey and almond loveliness (perfect with hot drinks or digestifs)”) which were 2 large pieces just jammed with nuts but not as much honey as we have experienced with middle-eastern versions. The filo was thick but not enough to get in the way of enjoying the honey and nuts inside. Delicious.

At £71.49 (including a 12.5% service charge automatically added) it was a bit of a pricey meal but generally quite satisfying. The staff were pleasant, showing up exactly when required and not at all getting in the way of our enjoyment of the meal. The food was generally quite bland – even for a cuisine that is not exactly known for flavour explosions but all prepared very well indeed.

We could quite be tempted to return…though perhaps to try some other dishes on the menu. This is not a cuisine you see a lot of in London so it is good to have somewhere local it can be enjoyed.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2021-10-08

Cuisine: North African

Address: 375 King St, London W6 9NJ ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Stamford Brook TUBE Ravenscourt Park

Location: London (England) - Hammersmith



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