Marie Restaurant Review

Marie Restaurant Review

Chef Patron Bjorn Attard

Marie’s Boutique Patisserie in Rabat is a long awaited quality bakery and bistro that serves up buttery pastries of the finest sophistication as well as a full lunch menu that will satisfy every palate and eater’s expectations. 

Having moved to Rabat from St Julian’s, apart from forfeiting hours of wave watching along a seafront promenade, café culture was lacking; and as a writer; sorely missed. The typical tea and sandwich or coffee and cake spots in Rabat are happily replaced by the notorious pastizzi u te and the run-of-the-mill pit-stops where a ftira and Kinnie is a general order by most. But Marie’s gave Rabat a touch of elevation.

Sit in the boutique hotel lobby attached to the eatery; cleverly transformed into a walk-ins-welcome café, that has been pretty much packed on all my visits. Booking a table may be wise as Pastry Chef Bjorn Attard’s good name is being spread far and wide – all for good reason. 

For the purpose of this review, Chef Bjorn extended his 4pm close time to accommodate our table. First things first, thank you for that Chef, secondly… boy am I glad you did! 

We started off with a Negroni, always a good start to a carte blanche meal. Negronis are made with gin, sweet vermouth and Campari offering a bitter palate cleanser that piques your senses, allowing them to engage for a savoury display of gustation. The tartness in Marie’s version was pleasant and very, very welcome. 

A rush of savoury delicacies came our way, in a systematic and timely manner – each dish offering a flavour pairing that Chef Bjorn should be proud of. We started with the Roast Beef Focaccia – a sourdough base that encases a heavenly, and hearty, selection of sliced roast beef, tender and lean, paired with a sweet roasted red pepper, caramelised onion and mature cheddar layering. 

Apart from the fact that it hits every savoury note, this sando gives you all the feels of comfort and indulgence, albeit a simple bite. The homemade garlic butter and mustard create a beautiful marriage of richness while the gherkin’s first flavour note sparks a light tangy and acidic note. 

Another sourdough focaccia to look out for is the Crispy Chicken Focaccia which we tried during our visit. In hindsight, I would have opted for their homemade sourdough baguette as a vessel for this menu item, simply to try it out too – but we’ll save that for a lunch craving in my future that will surely be satisfied. 

The chicken holds its crispy exterior; salted slightly I’m assuming to bring out those house spices in the coating. It held up its crunch even when topped with the crispy bacon – a hard task to deliver, especially consistency-wise, and the melted buttery brie.

Texture is the main highlight here, with layers of perfect bread, crispy chicken, carrying a sweet maple note, paper thin bacon with amplified salt levels and the introduction of baby spinach giving your palate a resting point. The sriracha fresh mayo hits the missing note of spice; and packs it in quite generously. Balance is everything here.

The Duck Leg Croquette is beautifully presented, with Chef Bjorn’s attention to detail shining through in the crisp exterior and the delicate smoky pulled duck; that again, I’m assuming was tended to with a bundle of love and confit-technique. The pronounced duck flavour is welcomed and embraced with the piquant salad featuring pickled cauliflower florets – now that’s attention to detail

The salads at Marie’s are special. Alter completely in composition and thought to the majority of salads, specifically side salads, on the market. Every salad served during our visit was prepared specifically for the dish; they weren’t an after-though or premade replica found on every order. The Rabbit and Pistachio Terrine was served alongside a baby spinach, green apple chutney and marinated red cabbage medley featuring a sesame seed note for a deeper earthy profile. Completely different from the salad mentioned earlier, and different again to the ones that will follow. 

The terrine itself was packed with smooth chunks, textured bits and a beautiful ham on the outside, encasing the rabbit meat and tender pistachios into an elegant and highly recommended terrine slice. Served with toasted – and buttered – sourdough to remind you life is worth living. 

Another selection from the Something Savoury section of the menu was the coveted Torched Chevre Goat Cheese, a brûléed performance of mastery; remember Attard is a Pastry Chef at heart, giving the chevre a golden crown of caramelised perfection, true with the crack, crunch and caramel notes. 

The cheese itself was light and dense at the same time, discovering new flavour profiles with every forkful. Here a neutral salad was presented with noteworthy elements of crunch, texture and refreshing ingredients. The walnuts were sweet and crunchy, the beetroot simple and delicate, the rucola energising and the apple jel, sweet, tart and perfectly spread onto the toasted in-house brioche.

The final savoury pleasure that we embraced for the evening was the In-House Cured Duck Salad featuring mixed leaves serving as a citrusy bed for the gamey duck carrying a faint aromatic spice aroma. The combination of caramelised orange zest, plums and honey-soy dressing work so well together with the finely sliced duck. Fresh points of cucumber break up the richness while the peanut crunch adds such a robust flavour profile.

And then there were the desserts – an elegant and delicate Rosewater and White Chocolate Cake, a Mille-feuille, a sample of their chocolate slabs and pralines, macarons and anything delicate, sweet, light and buttery your heart can even imagine. 

In general, the chocolate at Marie’s is always tempered perfectly, it’s not too thick, unless it’s intended to be – as in the white chocolate bark that covered the rosewater scented cake that was lighter than air and so true to the flavours Chef was hoping to share. 

The layers in the mille-feuille gave off elements of nuttiness, a slight burnt aroma that works beautifully with the creamy, delicate and fresh filling – so milky, so buttery. 

No matter what you choose from the sweet section of Marie’s Boutique Patisserie, you’re always going to be very pleasantly surprised, satisfied and comforted. Trust me, I’m a regular. 

Review written by

Kristina Cassar Dowling

HORECA Reviews are based on the experience of the diners on their particular visit. The nature of these reviews is based on the publication’s expertise in the industry, but also highlights the reviewer’s opinions and preferences. The aim of HORECA Reviews is to showcase culinary talent, to give the hospitality industry insight on their patron’s experience and areas for improvement as well as to celebrate the strive for excellence within the sector.

Marie Boutique Patisserie

Share this article


Marie Boutique Patisserie