Moro 333

34-36 Exmouth Market , London, EC1R 4QE

  • moro 2012
  • moro 2012
  • Moro 2016 3
  • Moro 2016 4
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  • Moro 2016 1

SquareMeal Review of Moro

Squaremeal London Hot 100 2016The word “love” crops up repeatedly in Moro’s plaudits – a sure sign that it’s still held in high regard after rocking on for two decades. From day one, Sam and Samantha Clark’s ground-breaking eatery made an impact with its zinc-topped bar, pavement tables, wood-fired oven and compelling Spanish/North African cuisine. The whole shebang still thrills, although nothing can trump the food: heady spicing and subtly matched flavours are at the heart of things, from a lamb and saffron broth with wee dumplings, or a rustic salad of warm white beans and celery topped with bottarga, to luscious chocolate and apricot tart. In between, the wood-fired oven makes easy work of sesame chicken (served with couscous), while the charcoal grill offers up lamb with fava bean and bitter leaf purée. Alternatively, pick some small plates from the tapas bar menu – perhaps fried spiced chickpeas or anchovies on toast. The wine list shows the same geographical interests as the menu, and the sherry line-up warrants proper consideration. “Fabulous, I just love this place”, raves one fan.

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7.8

Food & Drink: 8.3

Service: 6.7

Atmosphere: 7.7

Value: 7.3

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

gary c. 07 March 2015

Having dined here before, my expectations were high and I was not disappointed. The menu is fairly short, meaning that each dish can be perfectly executed and cooked fresh. The desserts I'm sure haven't changed for 18 years, but the Yoghurt cake is so good, why change it? Exmouth Market is a gastronauts paradise, with Moro leading the way. The food isn't pretentious, it's just honest and full of flavour. Each dish has a great contrast of textures and flavours without being over complicated. The presentation is rustic but that just adds to the explosion of flavours beneath. The crab, prawn and mussel salad set the tone. Good meaty fish with a spicy, zingy background. The lamb with bulgar wheat and labneh was one of those dishes where you cut your final pieces into smaller bits just to extend the experience. Then dessert. The Yoghurt cake isn't really a cake, it doesn't even look that nice, just try it and you will love it. Try it with the rosewater and cardamom ice cream and your mouth will be singing all the way home. Three courses with a couple of glasses of wine each comes to about £55 a head which I feel is great value for money.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

pjbabington 01 June 2014

We have been to Moro regularly. This time was a (not busy) Saturday lunchtime. Food and drink were excellent as always but the service was ‘shared’ across tables, which meant basically no service. The waitresses were too busy chatting by the till to take our drinks order and we had to call across the restaurant to get the bill. At no point did anyone check if we were happy with anything or everything, not even when they brought the bill. The whole experience was extremely offhand. We have had much better service in the past when it has been much busier, so maybe they were training new staff or fielding the B team. It was very disappointing, particularly as we were taking someone who had never been before and was excited to be going.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 2.0

Hollie F. silver reviewer 22 May 2014

Great place for a client lunch, wont let you down

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Hollie F. silver reviewer 06 May 2014

This restaurant always delivers. Great food, atmoshphere and never fails

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Aymeric V. bronze reviewer 16 March 2014

went with colleagues for lunch. the room is spacious and unusual, really special. the dishes on the menu are also unusual and very good (the chorizo/chick pea starter was very good, as was the lamb – some colleagues tried the kid and said it was amazing – chocolate tart was also very good). service is ok (had to ask twice for the tap water) but friendly and helpful (e.g., for the wine). it is a bit expensive, but the portions are on the big side, so definitely worth a visit. we all had a good time.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Marlen G. 12 November 2013

Great to be in one of my favourite parts of London, Exmouth Market, the sun was shinning too! Had not eaten here for some time but the food was still superb, then there was the bread… apart from Hambelton Bakery (Rutland), this bread is very special. Slightly sour – the way bread should be. Looking foreword to our next visit.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

peter l. 09 August 2013

Interesting dishes with interesting taste. All good except the fish. We were Pre theatre, so arrived at 6, opening time, to an almost empty restaurant, ordered at 610, starters arrived at 630, fine. Mains did not show until 710. Lamb was properly cooked, but Fish was raw inside. The waitress said that is how they do it, Really? if so the Menu could say so, or the waiter taking the order should say so, pre warn, they are cooking new sashimi style a la Nobu. I like sushi when i order sushi but not when it is supposed to be wood grilled fish! Not being cynical, but I thing they cooked it straight out of the fridge. Common mistake with sloppy chefs, poorly organised kitchen.To their credit they replaced it and took it off the bill. Would have enjoyed the meal if not so stressed with the slow kitchen.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Finbar T. bronze reviewer 28 April 2013

Having dined in London's best restaurants over the last 15 years, there is one that still tops them all. Moro. Fads come and go (Ramsey, Oliver, telephone directory menus, blowtorched snails, 30 minute sittings, tables without chairs) but only the truly great survive and Moro is such a place. Moro isn't fancy and trendy. It just is. It is a place where lovers of food and conversation come. I genuinely get excited when it's time for lunch at Moro and last week I was delighted to get the table in the corner where the late Lucien Freud used to have a quick glass before nipping down the bookies on Exmouth Market. From where I sat I had full view of the infamous bar where the action takes place. Moro is a place to people watch and if you are on your own, like I was, you can be a voyeur and feel good about it too. From frustrated writers pretending to write when they are really listening to the Guardian hack interviewing a junior minister for some gossip and insight to the men without wedding rinds entertaining their latest hire with promises of promotion, Moro is a soap opera. It is a place where the people come first and the food comes second. Which is how it should be. But the food comes a very close second. The quasi Morrocan-Med food is made with fresh ingredients and cooked lovingly by staff who have been at Moro for many years. Why go anywhere else, they say. Moro always works and the food is always tongue tasting delicious. The staff have stories to tell and look after you like a long lost Uncle. You will not be disappointed. Moro is packed and noisy today, which is usually how it is, and on the menu I have gone for my favourites because I knew I was writing this review. Cuttlefish, grilled pepper and cauliflower salad with pine nuts and mojo rojo. Wood roasted chicken with green olive, almond and chilli with tomato salsa and red lentil puree. And finally the Rosewater and cardamom ice cream. And a bottle of ‘Unico’ Gran Reserva 1999 which costs me the price of a Turnbull & Asser shirt. Heaven it was. Moro is the benchmark against all other restaurants I shall be reviewing. Having a large expense account I am lucky to be able to experience London's best restaurants which is a good thing because London's restaurants are the best in the world. And Moro is still the best but I am determined to find one that is as good or maybe exceed it. A tall order but it's a challenge I am looking forward to. FT

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Neil M. platinum reviewer 19 December 2011

Consistently excellent. The only possible criticism is it's location, which if you don't live work in Islington probably makes it inconvenient, but it's well worth the inconvenience. The changing menu makes it a great place to visit as often as possible as you're never going top be bored with the unusual flavours. The wine list is long|(ish) and always full of unusual offerings at decent prices and the atmosphere is very buzzy!

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

Clayton R. 24 October 2011

I have been visiting Moro every few weeks for several years, virtually every time I meet clients in the UK. I was there today and was sadly disappointed to find it has gone way downhill. The service was unbelievably slow, two orders were completely wrong and another dish was returned because there was some tissue on the plate. In fact the food was all over the place, I felt so embarrassed I ended up making excuses on behalf of the restaurant just to save some face in front of my guests. When the bill finally came I made a comment that things were not exactly up to the usual standard and I did not expect to pay for one of the dishes that was returned and I was told, “sorry we have to have full payment, you were offered a replacement.” We had no time and had to go, I paid but won’t be going back I can tell you that.

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