Moro Restaurant – High Hopes
Moro, Moro, Moro!
I could write those words over and over again, like a gushy schoolboy. I have a really peculiar tendency to fall in love with places without actually visiting them. I mean – I was dying to visit London because I knew I would love it (and I did) – based solely on the 1960’s TV show, The Avengers with the awesome Emma Peel.
So with Moro, I had fallen in love with it when I first got my hands on their cookbook. Back in the early noughts, the exotic spices of Moorish accented cooking seemed like a dream. And you could tell from the cookbook that there was balance and rigour to their cooking – not just some sort of slap dash a-pinch-of-this-and-a glug-of-that approach that gives cultural appropriation a bad name. You could see there was respect in what they did.
So, I was very excited to be heading there for lunch, it was one of the first places I made reservations for when I was planning my trip. It was, more that I care to admit, like meeting an internet crush in real life.
Would it be awesome and delicious, or would I be served catfish? Well, it was better than I could have hoped. It was stellar.
To me the perfect restaurant meal takes the restrained care of home cooking and adds depth with professional techniques and discipline. The ideal results seem effortless but your experience tells you there is a tremendous amount of work and care behind it.
The flavours were sharp and accessible – the underlying cooking executed flawlessly, with the natural flavours of the ingredients being lifted and brought to life through a prism of unfamiliar spices. It all served to highlight natural flavours, rather than being overwhelmed by spice.
My favorite was dessert – a feather light chocolate tart, that was darkly intense, accented with rounded sweetness of apricot paste. I had to fight my god children for just a taste of the dish. Ha!
I gotta say – I was so gushy about the meal, you could tell it was a little off putting for the reserved English staff (who were awesome and friendly). But such is the act of falling in love – you don’t care what anyone else thinks.