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Moro, Exmouth Market


“Delicious... large helpings of enjoyment guaranteed”

Reviewed 17 August 2014

Our first visit… It would be lovely to say, “What a find!” but obviously many have already discovered the delights of MORO. Some of them were there on the evening we dined. They all seemed to be making quite a racket. However, it was the hubbub that confirms enjoyment and dismisses any pretentiousness. It simply added to a great atmosphere.

Tamara served us almost exclusively for the evening. She immediately treated us to the stuff of legend, (c)hunks of MORO bread. The olive oil for dipping was a luscious blend of fruit, acid and silk. Everything Tamara did from then on was carried out with efficiency, humour, help and an obvious pride in her place of work.

Aperitifs of rhubarb and cava were the sumptuous equivalent of liquid rhubarb and custard sweets. Manzanilla provided a reliable hit of sherry ‘ozone’.

It was really uphill all the way from then on… in a very positive way. We steadily ascended a slope of gently relentless flavours and textures. Lomo provided delicate luxury against a backdrop of crunchy sourdough and soft, tangy grapes; pigeon nestled on fruity, vibrant salad. My salmorejo was, confoundedly, twice as good as any I have had in Spain.

Mains were just as accomplished. Chicken, lamb and pork had been given such consideration that they managed to shine, even in the face of a regiment of bitter, sharp, fruity, creamy, spicy accompaniments. These were so well judged that they would have become a talking point for longer had it not been for our determination to enjoy them with as much respect as possible. In any case, we were running out of superlatives.

We did not ask for advice about wines. The list is full and could be daunting but we had already gained so much confidence from the place that we trusted that our basic hunches would be successfully supported. A lovely Mallorcan red did not undermine our faith.

We allowed ourselves just two more treats; the cheese selection with Sherries was enough to share carefully between four. The chocolate and apricot tart recipe is available online. I urge you to make it as soon as you possibly can. Its simplicity is matched only by the staggering success of its flavours.

MORO is sure of its ground and relies on being very, very good at what it does. We were taken to a special place with each offering of food. Prices for this quality of cooking are still refreshingly reasonable and service was so great that we gladly paid the optional added charge.

This meal was a gift to my brother and his wife before they leave Islington for an island-living haunt much further north. In their absence, the ‘Sams’ will still provide us with an irresistible excuse for returning to London.

All images and content are the property of Geoff Griffiths. Copyright Geoff Griffiths 2014 ©