'Our home is your home'

Darna serves up a warm and wonderful taste of Morocco

Darna restaurant (photo credit: courtesy)
Darna restaurant
(photo credit: courtesy)
For Israelis and tourists alike, the name “Darna” has become synonymous with excellent food and warm atmosphere. It is the dream come true of Ilan Siboni, a veteran of the fine food business of Israel.
The Jerusalem restaurant is a feast for the eyes. Behind the heavy antique door, one encounters exceptional design and artistic detail, such as a mosaic-tiled floor, arabesque arches and colorful pottery, all imported from Morocco. Even the serving staff are dressed in authentic Moroccan attire. There are four separate dining areas, and each table is a private setting.
There is a wide selection of aperitifs and fine wines from the wineries of Golan, Barkan, Yarden, Carmel and Dalton.
To start our meal, Siboni had the waiter bring us a first course of pastilla fassia, a light and crispy phyllo pastry stuffed with Cornish hen and almonds, and garnished with powdered sugar and cinnamon.
The table, in the meantime, started to fill up with an incredible selection of fine salads served individually on exquisitely decorated dishes. The salads included carrots with cinnamon; lentil salad, a lemony potato salad, hot peppers, tomato confit and marinated eggplant, as well as a basket of warm and delicious kesra (Moroccan pita).
These courses alone would make a fine light dinner, but for the main course, the couscous dishes and the tagines (lamb or chicken cooked with dried fruits or vegetables in covered clay pots) are my favorites.
The meat was cooked to perfection, and even my partner agreed that this was among the best couscous dishes she’d ever had.
Green mint tea preceded the choice of desserts. The toubkal delight (sweet pastilla with soya milk, almonds and orange blossom water); m’bancha (phyllo pastry filled with almond and nut marzipan and spices); or the Moroccan pastry platter are all outstanding choices.
Darna’s motto is “Darna we darqum,” which in Moroccan means “Our home is your home.” While sipping a warm cup of mint tea, we had to agree. Darna definitely offers a homey Moroccan experience.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.

3 Rehov Horkanos, Jerusalem
Tel: (02) 624-5406