London is so big and buzzy and there’s always so much happening that it can be quite confusing at times.
Many a new-comer to the city has asked me where they should go first, and my answer is always the same.
Walk around, take buses and wander until you find your own little pocket of London. The one that feels like home and makes you go all heart-eyed.
As far as I’m concerned, I found mine a long time ago.
Minutes away from Farringdon station, Exmouth Market has it all: fairy lights, too-cute-to-be-true shops and, most importantly, a fantastic line-up of restaurants (including my London #1 and the best pizza this side of the Alps).
I’m afraid I’m not quite in the position to afford living around the corner just yet, so in the meantime, dinner it is!
This time at Moro, my beloved Morito’s grown-up sibling.
Compared to next-door’s buzzy & loud tapas bar, Moro is a very civilised affair.
Elegant surroundings with a rustic edge to them and service to match, it’s a great spot to take business partners or visiting parents, and an even better one for a romantic date!
Especially with crusty bread and a couple of cocktails, including a blooming lovely Rose & Lime Martini, to start!
Much like Morito, Moro build its menu around seasonal ingredients given a moorish treatment with touches from Spain and North African and carefully balanced spices aplenty.
Seared pigeon breast with rainbow chard, pine nuts, currants and rose jam being the perfect example of this.
With perfectly cooked, just pink pigeon meat, melty chard, crunchy pine nuts & sweet currants, it’s basically autumn on a plate and everything I want to eat at the moment.
Cecina (dried beed) with carob rusk, tomato, preserved lemon & olive salad.
The perfect end of summer salad, combining ripe tomatoes, zingy condiments with delicate, umami dried beef rolls, all rounded up with smooth walnut oil.
A moorish take on the Italian panzanella, and a very good one at that.
But then, it seems ‘very good’ is the norm at Moro…
Wood roasted cod with braised celery, cauliflower, coriander, barberries and chickpea purée with harissa.
Charcoal grilled lamb with chopped grilled aubergine and red pepper salad, cumin yoghurt, walnuts and chilli butter.
Chocolate and apricot tart wasn’t quite what I expected it to be, but in the best of ways.
I anticipated a rather homely slab of roasted-apricots-topped-with-ganache tart.
What we got instead was this lighter-than-air yet intense warm chocolate mousse sort of thing and it was divine.
But the true highlight of the meal was our last dish (and the simplest of them all): Rosewater and cardamom ice cream. Fragrant and delicate, it took the BF straight back to his childhood and within seconds, he declared it was the best thing he’s had all year.
A pretty bold statement and the number one reason why you should book a table.
More-ish, moorish, food doesn’t get much better than that!
Moro, 34-36 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QE