North African Moro has perched atop Exmouth Market’s food chain since 1996, and is celebrating 20 years of rave reviews with the opening of this second little sister in Hackney (following Morito Exmouth Market). The capacious, concrete-chic space (oh-so east London!) generates much noise, best suiting it for fun, casual meals – and the vegetarian-leaning menu doesn’t disappoint, offering trademark vibrancy in small plates such as cheese fritters with thyme honey or a generous green salad with figs and sesame brittle. Former Moro head chef Marianna Leivaditaki provides the twist, adding her Cretan heritage to the mix: think delicately fried aubergine drizzled with date molasses and leavened by runny feta. Another highlight for us was the char-grilled lamb chop, perfectly pink and glistening in anchovy butter – great value at under £5. Don’t miss the mango and yoghurt ice cream with crumbled pistachios, but be warned: lingering is discouraged on busy nights. Try migrating to the large, curved bar for light, fruity cocktails, a sherry or perhaps Tempranillo on tap.
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