Sunday, 6 February 2011

Morito: Pre-Gig Tapas

Carrying on the theme of little sister restaurants, three of us popped round to Morito. Down London's food mecca Exmouth Market fellow giggers Harriet, Ianthe and I caught a quick supper there before being wowed by the voice of Clare Maguire in Shepherd’s Bush. And I’ll say it upfront that Morito is a gem of a place, Sam and Sam Clarke have a little winner on their hands. It may be right next door to its older sibling Moro, but with its Spanish-Moorish tapas and informal clamour of canteeny tables and chairs, it is equally pleasurable.

Pre-gig bites were swift in their delivery and the staff so down to earth that on occasion I thought we were house-partying with them. More low-key and chirpy than Moro, we chatted happily to our waitress and the kitchen about quail egg deliveries and which moritos to have.

Padrón peppers

We plumped for padrón peppers - (the ultimate beery snack bar edamame beans and pork scratchings) scattered with crystals that gave perfunctory saltiness, croquettes that were light yet jam-packed with salt-cod.

Salt cod croquetas

Patatas mojo - salt crusted potatoes with green chilli & coriander sauce

We had wee boiled potatoes layered thick with a vivid green coriander sauce - a wonderfully simple and rustic dish, as was the sausage with white beans and alioli, which prompted uncouth mopping, ordering of the bread basket and unlimited alioli.

Butifarra sausage (a type of Catalan sausage) with white beans and alioli
The star dish of the night

Crispy aubergine with Miel De Caña

Sliced aubergines had their savoury-soft flesh drizzled with devilish miel de cana (a black molasses) and were followed by the quail’s egg and peppers - oh-so-sweet and perfect in its proportion. But this was the last dish, and there was a definite ‘is that it?’ disappointment by the end as the portions were so tiny. The recommendation was to have three dishes each, but when the tapas was an average £4 each we went for two-and-a-bit. This may have been a mistake.

Quail's egg and chargrilled peppers. They kindly replaced the jamon with peppers for the vegetarian among us

The cooking cannot be faulted. Neither can the service and if I could I would swing by every day. But the bill steadily mounted, and though we did order a fruity Castro Regio Tempranillo at £15, we were all taken aback at how much it totted up to.

On the bright side, you don’t want to be gigging on a full stomach, and there lies the silver lining.

Go early on a weekday and preferably pre-gig, ready to be wowed. And bring lots of cash.

32 Exmouth Market
Islington EC1R 4 
020 7278 7007

Morito on Urbanspoon


harrithur said...

A lovely little place. Just a shame the portion sizes reflect that. Absolutely delicious food though.. and handsome staff. I hope to pre-gig there again soon.

Salty said...

Yummers - shame they're not little sister prices to Moro though! And Exmouth Market pre-gig in Shepherd's Bush? Brilliant dedication to the eating cause x

Helena Lee said...

@Salty haha yes.. there is clearly little logic when it comes to eats! x

@harrithur Handsome staff indeed. I thought they were rather rock n roll x

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