February 4th, 2011
On Friday I had lunch at Moro, with some very good friends. Moro has been around for about 14 years and won the Observer Best Restaurant Award in 2009. Understandably, we had to book about 2 months in advance.
Moro seats about 80 people and the place was packed at 1.30 – the sound level was very good though – happy diners and no shouting. I looked at the menu and was slightly taken aback, it was deceptively simple and quite different to the one I’d seen online several months ago. Moro has about 5 options for each course – the mains being, seabass, pork, chicken, mackerel, lamb or vegetable meze. Having looked at other tables, however, I did notice that what seemed like simple fair was actually very appetising visually. Simple is good and a small menu enables a restaurant to do a all courses to an excellent standard.
I ordered clams, steamed with artichoke hearts and garlic, as my starter. It was served in a traditional earthenware, Spanish dish with toasted bread, drizzled with olive oil. They were a delight – tasting of the sea and garlic. I don’t recall tasting artichoke, but I didn’t miss it until I looked at the menu later.
I had wood roasted chicken with stuffed cabbage leaves and seasoned yoghurt as my main course – it was without a doubt the best chicken I have ever tasted – rich and succulent all the way through. It did bring back memories of Pollo Rico in Barcelona, but it beat their chicken hands down and that’s no mean feat! I was amused to be warned that the stuffed cabbage contained pork.
Finally I had Queso do oveja, Torta de oveja and Picos de Europa cheeses with membrillo. Translated, that means aged sheep’s cheese, which seemed to be Manchego, and the large biscuit was similarly flavoured with sheep’s cheese. The other blue cheese and soft cheese were selected european cheeses – notably the soft cheese was served rindless and looked like cream, so I ate it with a spoon. Membrillo is quince cheese. The cheese, like the rest of the meal was excellent – I’d go back and eat at Moro, tomorrow, without hesitation.
Moro is at 34 – 36 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE. If you can’t wait to eat there, I noticed that they do a lunchtime outdoor stall, along with others in Exmouth market, where they sell a lamb and mint kebab for £5 – I’ll have to go and try it myself, very soon!
We left quite late, at about 4.30 and I was highly amused by the fact that all the restaurant staff were sitting at the back, drinking coffee and eating custard creams.