Jawharat is exactly the type of restaurant - if you can call it that - one must absolutely avoid. Now, before you continue reading you must know that I'm not one who usually complains. I appreciate the context I am in, and sometimes I see it as part of the fun. If I wanted something exclusive, say, fine dining, I would have searched exactly that. In fact, if you go through my reviews, you can easily notice that I'm not usually one to complain. However, today I'm making an exception as it is only fair to warn other travellers.
We decided to stay on the terrace overlooking the Blue Gate and order the set menu costing 70dhms (around €7) which stated that one could get a starter, main (any plate or tajine) and dessert. However when it came to ordering, the waiter said that the main dish came with conditions - basically we could not order any main we wanted but had to choose from a limited choice. This was fine for us.
When it came to serving, the waiter brought everything at once - nibbles, starters, main and dessert! This was probably so the waiter just takes one trip up the stairs. This did not bother us much, however by the time we ate our starter, the main got cold, of course. The food was pretty bland and tasteless. I've eaten way better elsewhere for much less.
Rain started and the umbrellas did not serve much. The food and us were getting wet and the waiter was nowhere to be seen to help us carry our food down to the main restaurant. By the time we actually managed to go down, we were soaked. We found an empty table next to the bar and just sat there.
All of a sudden however I felt a couple of drops on my head, back, and arm. I looked up thinking the rain was actually leaking through the terrace to the main restaurant. No, it wasn't. I looked at my arm and I see ketchup on it. Only then did I realise the waiter was messing around with ketchup and mayonnaise!! When I remarked that he stained my white t-shirt, he took a napkin and without apologising tried to scrub it away, which actually made the stains worse!
Finally asked for the bill. The amount did not add up and started calculating it off the menu. The same waiter came angrily to me and started using the calculator in front of my face explaining how he ended up with that sum. Basically, he charged us an extra 10dhrms (€1) for service charge. This was nowhere stated in the menu and in a place like Morocco, you almost take it for granted that sometimes you will find people trying to take advantage of you as a tourist. However, given the appalling service and the ruined clothing, I was not having it. Told the waiter that this was unacceptable and he started shouting to "shut up because it is better".
I would have gladly paid the €1 extra had the service and food been passable. However, considering that the Moroccan minimum wage amounts to €300 monthly, €1 for a so-called service charge is downright theft. Unfortunately, it is instances like this that keep tourists away from such a gem that Morocco is.
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