A touch of kosher Morocco in Rishon Lezion

Oro's interior is decorated in signature Moroccan cream, black and gold.

kosher morocco 88 (photo credit: )
kosher morocco 88
(photo credit: )
Following its success in Moshav Galia near Rehovot, Moroccan restaurant Oro opened its second branch in the entertainment area of Rishon LeZion a week ago. Executive chef Guy Peretz oversees both restaurants, and has created a special summer menu for his new locale. The Moroccan style of cooking is heavily influenced by Arab, Middle Eastern, Turkish, Moorish, Berber, Mediterranean African and even Jewish cuisines. The abundant use of spices such as saffron, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, ginger, paprika, parsley and coriander ensure colorful and tasty dishes. Add to that the yellow-orange-and-black glazed earthenware tagine vessels the food is served in, and you're in for a very visual gourmet experience. Oro's soothing interior is decorated in cream, black and gold - classic Moroccan colors. Interior designer Itzik Levi had the impressive 5,000- crystal chandelier that is the centerpiece specially imported from Italy. Dozens of bottles of local and boutique wines adorn the wall above the bar, a nice place to have a pre-dinner drink or snack. Apart from the main dining room there is a glass-enclosed terrace for private parties and a small open garden area where smoking is permitted. We tasted the ethnic cigars, the pastilla cigars filled with chicken, nuts, raisins, cinnamon and ginger with a cherry tomato sauce; the grilled Andalousian eggplant; fried sardines on a bed of grilled peppers, garlic and coriander served with crushed lemon sauce; and fried golden mushrooms. All were interesting and full of flavor. For our main courses we tried a three-tagines, each so different in taste from one another. The sweet tagine with chicken thighs, pumpkin and onion jam on a bed of couscous was absolutely delicious. The chicken and olives tagine with lemon on a bed of couscous was a hit with my dining companions too, but not being a lover of cooked olives, I gave that one a pass. The lamb tagine in red wine is definitely worth another trip to Rishon. Other tagines on the menu include a vegetarian option, soups, salads, fish and grilled meats - in short, something for every taste. The halva kadif with wild berries served for desert was just as colorful as the previous dishes and, although too sweet for me, it was pounced upon by my dining partners. Price range: First courses: NIS 22 to 49 Main courses: NIS 42 to 125 Deserts: NIS 24 to 32 Oro, Rehov Moshe Bachar 16, entertainment area, Rishon LeZion. Kosher. Tel: (03) 950-7085 Open Sunday to Thursday from noon to midnight. Friday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.