Casablanca seafood. Conjures up all kinds of wonderful images in one’s head, doesn’t it. Port du Peche is one of the must see places in Casablanca, after all this is the biggest port in North Africa and you would expect some great seafood here.
First of all, let me state that this wasn’t the end all be all or port fish places. It wasn’t the cheapest option in Casablanca – but it was good. Above average and probably a scad below very good.
To get Casablanca seafood, you have to wait for it to open. No early bird dining. It opens at 7 pm and there isn’t a whole lot to do if you get there earlier. The port in Casa is grimy and not all that exciting. You can walk down the pier to where the fishermen are selling direct to locals and there is a great view of the Hassan II Mosque over the fishing boats.
Taxi drivers will try to direct you to go to Ostria, a more expensive option across the parking lot but what I saw was no locals in Ostria, higher prices, and not as much authentically tacky ambiance. I’m guessing the food wasn’t as good but higher priced.
Once you are inside, the menu is decently priced – all in French. About 100 dirhams per dish with a house salad going for 50 dirhams and sodas or juice for about 12-15 dirhams each. We had the fried calamari which was fresh and delicious (97 dh) and a very nice Valencian paella for 180 dh (for two or more people) plus a couple of sodas and the complimentary bread. We had to wait 45 minutes for the paella and during that time the place filled up with locals. They do serve wine there and the other dishes we saw being served looked and smelled nice. The decor is that of a tacky 1970’s fish place with model ships and diving helmets and the waiters were pleasant and gave great service by Moroccan standards which translates to decent service by western standards. We were surprised no option exists to buy fish at the port and have them grilled outside such as you find in Agadir, Tetuan, Tangier, etc – but this was still worthwhile – though nowhere near the value nor the enjoyment of a real fisherman’s port.
All told it was 350 dirhams which included a 10% gratuity added on plus an additional 10% to make up the difference and show our gratitude for a nice time and delicious food. Definitely worth a stop.