Join us for a bite of biriyani at the Clay Oven, Rabat---unbeatable prices, delicious fragrant food, and a whole lot of orange. What’s not to love?
I’m on a mission to reshape my perception of restaurants in Morocco.
I wholeheartedly believe that Moroccans make some of the best food in the world. If you ever get the chance to eat authentic cuisine prepared by a Moroccan, take it.
That being said, I don’t always find what I’m looking for at restaurants in Rabat. The culture of eating out in the US is very different than that of Morocco, and I found it hard to get excited about trying new restaurants in Morocco—until now.
Since my favorite kind of food is Indian, I figured there’s no better way to kick off this mission than with a trip to Clay Oven, an authentic Indian restaurant with locations in Rabat and Casablanca.
With excellent food, service, and prices, you really can’t go wrong with Clay Oven—I have no regrets from my last visit, except that I wasn’t able to eat more.
Location: Privacy, parking, and a relaxed atmosphere
Rating: 4 / 5 MWN stars
Since I live in Rabat and couldn’t hold off my cravings any longer, I chose the location closest to me. The Rabat venue opened in April 2019, making it younger than its Casablanca counterpart.
The restaurant in Hay Riad, an upscale neighborhood of Rabat, is easily reached by taxi or car and has ample parking options nearby. You can also get there on foot in ten minutes or less from Hay Riad’s iconic Maroc Telecom Museum and Place Mahaj Riad.
If you like noisy crowds and people-watching, Clay Oven Rabat is not the place for you. But if you’re looking for privacy, parking, and a relaxed atmosphere, Clay Oven Rabat is the perfect spot for a date or a business meeting.
Service: Attentive and accommodating, but not overbearing
Rating: 5 / 5 MWN stars
Upon entering the restaurant, we were quickly greeted by the manager, Bipin Negi, who looked sharp and professional in a black tailored suit. He showed us the space and we settled on a back table upstairs.
A waiter quickly brought us menus, and Bipin delivered our drinks right away. Throughout our meal, Bipin and the two waiters were attentive and accommodating, but not overbearing. The excellent service was definitely a highlight of our visit.
The interior: Orange, orange, and more orange
Rating: 4 / 5 MWN stars
Like the color of clay ovens for which the restaurant is named, Clay Oven Rabat is orange. Very, very orange.
We’re talking orange walls, orange chairs, orange lamps, and orange artwork—but orange is, after all, a color of India. The decor channeled the warm hues of saffron, a color and spice that has come to symbolize the vibrant South Asian nation.
The dark wood ceiling beams and low lighting kept the environment quite moody. This was a bit overwhelming in the dining room upstairs, where the only window was covered by a large poster.
Downstairs, where the massive front doors and high ceilings give the space a more light and open feel, the orange paint and dark wood are significantly less powerful.
At 3 pm on a Sunday before a major holiday, the restaurant was fairly quiet.
While it certainly wasn’t crowded, it wasn’t uncomfortably empty, either. Other diners included a large English-speaking family with several children and a handful of Moroccan adults.
Menu, food, and prices: Unbeatable
Rating: 5 / 5 MWN stars
The menu has an extensive and well-organized list of options, but an inexperienced patron may not know where to start. If you’re not familiar with Indian food, the staff at Clay Oven Rabat will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
Bipin first brought us three drinks: Ginger lemonade (a mojito on steroids), indradhanush (a sweet rainbow mocktail), and lassi mango (a thick mango milkshake). All three were delicious, but the refreshing, ice-cold ginger lemonade was my favorite.
In lieu of bread, we snacked on poppadom with two sauces before our starter arrived.
About ten minutes later, after we had time to sample the drinks and get settled, Bipin brought out the first dish: A sizzling platter of vegetables and spicy kebabs.
Not long after we polished off the platter, the stars of the show arrived: Vegetable korma, butter chicken, chicken biryani, and more naan.
I’m not exaggerating when I say this was exquisite. From the creamy sauces to the tender chicken and the seasoned rice, everything blended together perfectly.
Even though I was stuffed from the main course, I managed to sample two desserts: Gulab jamun with vanilla ice cream and kulfi.
I wasn’t crazy about the texture of the gulab jamun, but the flavor was amazing and vaguely reminded me of chebakia, my favorite Moroccan dessert.
The kulfi had a sweetness like nothing I’ve ever tasted before. If I hadn’t already reached my dairy limit for the day, I would’ve devoured it in seconds.
The cherry on top? The unbeatable prices.
The most expensive dish on the menu is the Chef’s Special Platter, which goes for MAD 160. Everything else was MAD 130 or less, and the majority of dishes were under MAD 100.
With delicious food, excellent service, and upscale interior, these prices are an absolute steal on a nice night out.
Final rating and recommendation: 5 / 5 MWN stars
Our lunch at Clay Oven Rabat was overall an amazing experience. With great service, an extensive menu, and an impeccable environment, I truly can’t think of anything negative to say about this restaurant.
If you live in Rabat or Casablanca and you’re craving Indian cuisine, check out Clay Oven—you won’t be disappointed. My husband and I are already planning our next visit.