Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Birthday Treats @ Moro

It has been so long since we were last at Moro’s, it really is quite sad indeed. When we first went there, it still had a big reputation of being full of tosser media types, and it was pretty full of those types back then.
Nowadays it doesn’t seem to attract those twats as it used to, although there were a few in when we arrived.
Everything else about Moro was just how we remembered it, from the warm welcome to the buzzy vibe, to the great food and that great kitchen. How I always wanted to work in there.
I really cannot understand why it has taken us over 5 years to return to Moro. I know it will not be as long before we return, but I’m pretty sure we said that last time.
I brought the first Moro cookbook when it came out, and have been regularly cooked from it for many a year now. Although I kinda prefer some of the recipes from Claudia Rodens Middle Eastern book. They have been cooked over many generations and have a long tradition. Moro’s recipes are modern and chic, just like the restaurant.
I wasn’t that hungry when we came to ordering, as we’d been house hunting in Herne Hill, and had a pretty good late breakfast in a small café near to the station, plus I wanted to save some room for the pud, so I passed on the starter.
Lina however was pretty keen to get stuck in. She was very glad that the dish she had the last time, which still haunts her even today. Scrambled egg and prawns was not on the menu.

This time she opted for a dish of mojama and wilted spinach. Mojama is dry cured loin of tuna, which is normally sliced very thinly and served with almonds and olive oil as a tapas snack in Madrid bars. Well that’s how I’ve had it before. Moro served it with some warm wilted spinach drenched in lush olive oil.
The mojama was not as dry as I remembered it, it had a slight tuna taste to it, but was as silky as the texture. A lovely starter, shame I wasn’t allowed but a few mouthfuls. But at £8.50, I wouldn’t have given her much either.

Our mains were wood roasted chicken with stuffed cabbage leaves and seasoned yoghurt, and the wood roasted seabass with cabbage puree and piquillo peppers cooked in white wine. Now that’s a mouthful.
My chicken was perfectly cooked, still very moist and not dried out, but it did lack any hint of being wood roasted. The cabbage leaves were stuffed with a lentil and rice pilaf, they were well cooked and well seasoned. The yoghurt dressing was nice and light and not too thin. A very easy dish to conjure up back home, but what sets Moro apart is the quality of the cooking.

From what I remembered of the Seabass (I was too involved in my chicken) was that it was again well cooked and well seasoned. The piquillo peppers were cut into slithers and were a treat indeed. I do love these small sweet spicy red angels. But I was blown away by the cabbage puree. Such a great cabbage taste, but yet so smooth and velvety. Wow. That would work well with a Sunday roast.

We shared the yoghurt cake with pistachios and pomegranate. This is how I remember yoghurt cake form the Middle East, with the added goodness of pistachios and pomegranate seeds on top, it was a great way to end a great meal.

The strangest thing is that the bill including service came to £88.88p. A most certain lucky bill. One I was happy to pay. It was a shame that our lottery numbers were not that lucky that night, or the fact that I got a bit of a roasting come Monday morning at work. It looks my good fortune was confined to a few hours on a Saturday night in a great restaurant on Exmouth Market.

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