Pause for a breath in London and you leave yourself at the city’s mercy. Pretty much anything could happen. A bus could meet a puddle and make you the star of a dingy Herbal Essences ad set on the Kingsland Road. A Person With Somewhere To Be could knock your four-pint balancing act everywhere. A cute dog could walk past you without a pat because that sodding meditation app sent you a notification. You need to be on it and energetic to make it in London. And that’s exactly what Morito is.
Morito in Exmouth Market is the first tapas spot from the folks behind Moro next door. It’s different from it’s younger Hackney Road sibling: smaller, busier, with less eyes that look you up and down as soon as you walk in. This Morito is a restaurant that takes in London’s bustle and asks, ‘is that all you’ve got?’. In fact, you’ll be hard pushed to find somewhere more non-stop or serving tastier little plates than this cramped hallway. You see this kind of square footage described on RightMove as ‘sleek and compact, with delightful views onto a cobbled pedestrianised street’. This roughly translates to: a corridor. But what a corridor it is. That’s what an estate agent would say, and so do we.
You come here for a few plates no bigger than your hand that don’t cost any more than a tenner. But these little plates can add up. It’s extremely easy to prop yourself up at the luminous orange bar, get down and dirty with some crispy rabbit in a rosemary sauce, wolf down some hot and saucy patatas bravas, plus a cumin-y lamb chop for luck, and get a bill that’s bigger than you expected it to be. Food-wise everything here is definitely good, and sometimes it’s even better than that. The food at Morito doesn’t always have to be amazing though, because you leave here feeling energised and happy, ready to walk and talk back to wherever you’re going. Feeling like this thanks to a restaurant shouldn’t be underestimated.
Although you can wander in here sometimes, Morito is generally a restaurant you need to be tactical with. Basically, you need to book. Especially in the evenings. It’s smaller than an A&E waiting room, with even more demand on the weekend. Ideally for no more than two or three people, but it depends on how you want use this place. As a quick bite and glug spot, or a nibble and sip one? Regardless of how you do it, you’re going to have a good time and good food at Morito. Although they won’t be pausing for a breath, you can.
Crispy on the outside, molten on the inside. And though the lava-like filling tastes good enough, we’re not sure these croqeutas are £7.50 good.
A nice slice of tortilla. The sort of thing lots of people claim they could make at home, forgetting that you can’t make a tortilla when your arse is on the sofa.
You know what patatas bravas are. We know what patatas bravas are. These ones are definitely worth ordering.
There may be a reason why you usually see kofte in meat form rather than fish. We’re not sure the texture of cuttlefish lends itself to being made into a patty. A bit odd.
Look, we wouldn’t call ourselves experts on the best lamb chops in London. We much prefer the term ‘masters’. This one is rubbed in cumin and paprika and is pretty good. 7.5/10.
We like being reminded of other things we like to eat whilst eating something we really like. The crispy-ness of this lamb reminds us of crispy duck, only this is on some smoky aubergine with sweet pomegranate all over. A definite order.
Tell you what, Beatrix Potter would’ve ended The Tale Of Peter Rabbit very differently if she’d eaten this beforehand. This should be a regular for everyone, maybe at Easter?
Grilled chicken and some colourful tabbouleh doesn’t sound like the most exciting thing: it’s a bit Gwyneth Paltrow’s work Tupperware. But it tastes pretty good.
Pasta in a tahini sauce with leek and dill isn’t something we’ve had before, but it’s something we’ll be having again.
Looks like it could be in the Tate Modern. Tastes like it should always be in our mouths