Wednesday, 4 January 2012

A little slice of Moro

In general trend terms, I reckon I'm about 8 – 12 months behind the zeitgeist chasers, and probably an equal timescale ahead of the average joe. I didn't make it to #meateasy until its closing week, I still haven't been to Polpo or Hawksmoor. I loved the sound of Morito, but it had been glowingly reviewed in Metro, Time Out and the Guardian and the prospect of a 2 hour wait didn't quite appeal.

Now, Morito, as its diminutive name suggests is the little sibling of Moro - the Exmouth Market classic that has been bringing us the most delicious Spanish/North African/Middle Eastern inspired food for many years. I went there a few years ago and still salivate at the thought of that meal. But, unlike big sis, you can only walk-in in the evenings to Morito - no reservations or nuffin.

So I waited about a year and finally got to go to Morito a few weeks back with some chums from work. Chums who appreciate damn good food and sherry. Waiting a year has the benefits of not having to wait 2 hours for a table on the night - we waltzed in at 7 and took a neat table for four.

We kicked off with a glass of fino each - I had a crisp Manzanilla, reminiscing about my recent trip to Andalucia and tasting those salty sea breezes off it. Our first round consisted of jamon croquettes (so moist and flavoursome inside, perfectly crisp outside), a zingy chickpea salad, aubergine purée topped with dry aromatic lamb and pomegranate seeds ( - this was amazing - one to recreate at home).

Next up we ordered a deep Portuguese red, accompanied by chickpea stew with chorizo and morcilla (tender and nicely pungent), cured cuttlefish roe (very delicate, fresh and tasting like a mouthful of sea), pimentos padron (nobody I know has ever been served a mega spicy one - is it urban legend?), and molten cheese with quince and walnuts (perfect combination - earthy walnuts, greasy and salty warm cheese and sweet and tangy quince - I could have eaten this forever).

The atmosphere was buzzy, clientelle were quite Clerkenwell (thick rimmed glasses ahoy, but hey, who am I to talk), and the service efficient but warm, with no sense of us being hurried despite it being quite a busy night later on. 

So the wait paid off, but I'm already kicking myself for how many times I could have visited if I'd tried and loved early on. Numerous publications inform me that Peruvian food is so 2012, and that March will see two Peruvian joints opening in London. This time I'll be reporting from the frontline - no more missing out!

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