A few years ago a dear friend bought me the Moro cookbook. This was when I'd just moved back from the culinary wasteland of Germany (you would not believe how terrible supermarkets are there) and I was beginning to get into cooking big time with my flatmates. I was excited to be back in London - land of farmers' markets, normal markets, global food options. I delighted in skipping up Seven Sisters Road to get the generous bundles of fresh herbs, slightly exotic vegetables and fish to make Moro meals. I read about the restaurant time after time in the Observer Food Monthly and in Time Out, I walked past it countless times, I eyed up the menu online. For our birthdays (in June and July), my partner and I decided we would treat ourselves to a meal at Moro. And last weekend, at the end of November, we finally did!
It all started simply, with delicious sour dough bread olive oil. We munched on that while we contemplated the short, but perfectly mouthwatering menu.
It's worth saying that the service is impeccable at Moro. It was a busy Friday night, the restaurant was bustling with contented, enthused punters and they could easily have been hurrying us along, but were friendly, informal and attentive. We finally settled on a selection of sherries - not the kind of sherries that your grandma drinks too much of at Christmas, but exciting, delicate, interesting sherries served perfectly chilled. The website describes them like so:
"Try this selection to discover the sheer deliciousness of bone dry sherry, from the salty sea breeze tang of Manzanilla, through the more pungent, assertive Fino, finishing with the more complex Manzanilla Pasada whose rock pool aromas are overlaid with subtle nutty age."
For starter I had a pumpkin kibbeh stuffed with sweetly spiced onions, raisins and chick peas. It was served with a radish and pomegranate salad and musky seasoned yoghurt.
Pete had swiss chard stalks with raisins and anchovies. It was earthy, salty and sweet all in one.
My main course was strips of charcoal grilled lamb, served with a smoky, spicy aubergine and bulgur wheat pilav and a shredded cabbage and yoghurt salad. It really was just heaven on a plate - the combination of flavours were perfectly balanced, the meat was super quality and the charcoal imparted just the right amount of smokiness.
Pete had woodroasted pheasant breast, served with onions caremalised in Pedro Ximenez and braised cabbage. I should also say that the wine list was excellent, with a really broad, well-chosen selection of wines by the glass. We had a glass of Gotim Bru and a glass of Mestizaje (described as mid-weight modernist!).
For dessert it had to be the classic Moro yoghurt cake with pistachio and pomegranate seeds. It's something I've made from the Moro recipe book before, so I was keen to try it as it should be. I was pleased to find that my own version wasn't too far off the mark, but this was just stunning: sweet, sour, fruity, nutty, and perfectly paired with a glass of Vino Dulce de Moscatel!
I can honestly say that it was one of the best meals of my entire life. It was a faultless experience, the food and the wine were out of this world, the atmosphere was warm and happy, and punters and waiters alike were equally enthused about the food. Now - to try and replicate at home!