Tapas is such a social way to dine. I love ordering a load of things on the menu and sharing them with friends – everyone savours each dish and discusses their favourites. I have had some fantastic tapas meals in London – Brindisa in Borough Market is a particular favourite of mine (make sure you have the jamon platter).
Exmouth Market is somewhere I have hitherto neglected, I am ashamed to say. But, then again, this is one thing that’s so brilliant about London – you can live here for a quarter of a century and still be discovering new things and exciting new places. It’s so big and sprawling, there is always more to discover. A short walk from Angel and flagged by slightly shady council estates, Exmouth Market has a wealth of restaurants and bars which come with high accolades.
Moro is one of the more fine dining establishments on the street, with a varied weekly menu centred around southern mediterranean cuisine. Morito is it’s more laidback sister restaurant next door. This tiny tapas bar has a retro mediterranean feel to it, playing 60s soul music loudly which drowns out the chatter of your rather closely quartered neighbours at the next table.
We sat at the bar, and once again found ourselves overwhelmed with choice. I was initially tempted by the tortilla – we happened to be sitting opposite a giant, freshly made one which the waitress occasionally cut into and plated up. The smell was tantalising. However, we decided to be a little more adventurous, and ordered an assortment of dishes from across the menu. As always with tapas, make sure you ask your waiter whether you have ordered enough / too much – you won’t want to waste a single mouthful because you’re too full!
To start, we had the beetroot borani with feta, dill and walnuts. This isn’t something I would usually order, not being the biggest fan of beetroot, but I am now thoroughly converted! I can’t put into words how delicious this dish was – a must must order! We also sampled the salt cod croquetas which made an interesting change to the usual cheese and ham variety.
For mains, we shared the mackeral, porra and hazelnut migas and the slow roasted pork belly with cumin and lemon, plus pan con tomate which is an essential accompaniment. Again, words fail me – the flavour of these dishes was so far from anything I have ever tasted before it’s impossible to describe. All I can say is that they were absolutely delicious.
Finally, for dessert, we shared the figs with saffron labneh, honeycomb and pumpkin seed oil. The figs were wonderfully sweet but I found the pairing with saffron quite surprising. When taken together in one mouthful it was very tasty, but if you had too much of sweet or sour in one go it was less enjoyable.
I’d very much like to go to Moro now to see what fantastic concoctions have been dreamt up on that side of the wall, but for a relaxed evening of amazing tapas, I’m not sure you can beat Morito. I will definitely be returning.