Mediterranean, Modern European·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Morchella

Gold Award

Perilla has always been one of London’s ‘if you know you know’ darlings - a north London gem that blends bijou coolness and some stellar cooking. The question has always been, is Perilla really good or is it just really cool? Well, you can tuck that question in and put it to bed because Morchella - the difficult second restaurant from Perilla duo Ben Marks and Matt Emmerson - is a beauty.

A decade ago, Marks and Emmerson settled for a slightly rundown old kids cafe on the corner of Newington Green for their debut restaurant, but Morchella clearly had its pick of desirable spots. The resulting site is a grand old bank - tastefully refurbished in a similar wabi-sabi style to Perilla, but retaining the old wood-framed windows and wood-panelling. Natural light spills in by day, and crowds eat by flicker of candlelight by evening, whilst a busy open kitchen sits in the centre of the room, hosting counter diners. Staff bustle around the large, busy dining room, shuttling plates from the pass, always busy but never too rushed to help.

There’s plenty on the menu that’s instantly recognisable - salt cod, spanakopita, vitello tonnato, and a panzanella, for example, but the simple descriptions belie the ingenuity of the cooking. The spanakopita comes in a tiny, crisp cylinder of filo pastry, stuffed with oozing feta and spinach, that must be rushed to the mouth before it all escapes. It’s absolutely delicious, and we quickly rush a second in after it.

Aside from a couple of little bites that tiptoe on a tightrope of heavy seasoning, we can’t fault anything else we ate at Morchella. Highlights include a gorgeous pile of sobrasada ragu, with pearlescent hake lurking underneath, salt-baked poussin with a rich, ruddy chilli sauce, and an inspired blood orange portokalopita - a syrup-laden sponge cake scattered with tiny morsels of black olive. Imaginative and delicious in equal measure, Morchella is the rare restaurant that delivers on all the hype.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Mediterranean, Modern European
Cool, Fun, Lively
Food Occasions
All day dining, Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Counter dining, Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Dates, Special occasions


Located inside a former bank perched on the corner of Rosebery Avenue and Tysoe Street, Morchella is the second restaurant from the team behind Perilla. Like its predecessor, Morchella follows as a modern neighbourhood restaurant offering fine dining calibre food but in an unfussy and welcoming fashion. The philosophy of founders Ben Marks and Matthew Emerson is that humble high-quality ingredient-based dishes can and should form part of an elevated but accessible dining experience for London communities. Morchella’s location just metres from Exmouth Market, where you can find some of the most vibrant foods in the capital, is a smart one.

At Morchella, vibrancy is the order of the day. Head chef and Great British Menu alum, Daniel Fletcher serves up a menu of Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Fletcher brings a wealth of experience picked up in the award-winning kitchens at The Square and Sky Garden. In true Perilla style, the menu comes to us in modern style with seasonal produce at the fore. Ingredients are sourced from both continental artisanal suppliers as well as independent British producers, butchers, and fisheries. Guests can expect twists on classic dishes, such as hake with sobrasada sauce, octopus alla Luciana, and salt-baked poussin. The wine list also champions organic independent wine production, including various bottles from the likes of Dynamic Vines, Keeling Andrew, and Newcomer Wines.

Avoiding the stuffy connotations of the London fine dining scene, Morchella is styled as an easy-going but soothing space, think exposed plaster and modest design features. Front and centre in the main dining room is an open kitchen, with the creativity of the chefs on full display. There is also a private dining room and wine bar located on another floor which functions separately and might just be the ideal spot to rest your legs and have a quick drink.


Does the restaurant have multiple sites?

No, but the team also runs Perilla in Newington Green.

Helpful? 0

Who is behind the restaurant?

Chef Ben Marks and restauranteur Matthew Emerson, alongside head chef Dan Fletcher.

Helpful? 0

Morchella is featured in


84-86 Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell, London, EC1R 4QY

020 7916 0492 020 7916 0492


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue 17:30-22:00
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat Closed
Sun Closed
All day
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 12:00-22:00
Thu 12:00-22:00
Fri 12:00-22:00
Sat 12:00-22:00
Sun 12:00-21:00


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020 7916 0492 020 7916 0492

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