Test Drives

01moritoThe fried aubergines with date molasses and feta. Yes this IS as good as it looks.

What can you tell us about Morito?

The original Morito was an offshoot of Moro, a restaurant run by Sam and Sam Clark that's been packing them in for years in Exmouth Market. That restaurant is a fairly small affair, focused around regularly changing Mediterranian influenced small plates. This new venue in Hackney takes the small plates menu and puts it in a room that's almost as big as the original Moro. So it's a real mix of the both restaurants. 

Where is it?

On Hackney Road, right next door to Sager and Wilde. Your best bet train-wise is an overground to Hoxton. 

Where should we meet for a drink first?

You have two very good options close to Moritio for a pre/post tipple. If you fancy a pint, then the Marksman is just across the road, a couple of minutes away. And if you fancy wine, then next-door's Sager and Wilde is probably one of the best places in London for that. So the area's becoming VERY good for food and drink.  

05moritoPastirma and cheese borek.

Do they take bookings?

They do indeed - something of a blessing for a small plates restaurant (and unlike the original which doesn't). However, it's a big place with plenty of counter dining opportunities, so it's worth chancing a walk-in. Around 9.30 seemed like a good time for this if you fancy a late snack. 

Where should we sit?

Assuming there are no more than two of you, the middle counter is where it's all at. While the food is prepared in the open kitchen at the back of the room, this space really gives you the chance to talk to the staff and get some recommendations. It's very convivial and one of the best counter dining spots we've seen in London. And we LOVE counter dining. 

And what kind of food?

It's a small-plates restaurant, so remember our mantra - only order in batches, ensuring you're happy to eat it all if it turns up at once. The food jumps around the Med, so expect dishes influenced by southern Spain, Morocco, Turkey and Crete. 

07moritoKid mechoui, perserved lemon and harissa - with more of the amazing patatas.

Any particular recommendations?

It's definitely the kind of menu that you can roam around at will and expect it to change regularly too. A few standouts for us were:

  • Fried Aubergines, date molasses and feta (£7) - this jumped off the menu at us and didn't disappoint. Some of the most perfectly cooked aubergines we've had recently. A must-have dish.
  • Anything with patatas in it. The patatas fritas with sherry vinegar and harissa (£6) is a good start, but these come as garnish in a few more dishes too. Essentially they're AMAZING chips. 
  • Turbot, sherry vinegar and paprika (£12) - the best of the fish dishes, in our opinion (although the slow cooked squid is also worth ordering). 
  • Pastirma and cheese borek (£7) - two gooey cheese filled pastry delights.

So we'd definitely recommend winding your way through the menu. Desserts didn't quite hit the heights of the main small-plates, but otherwise, it's hard to put a foot wrong. 

And how about drinks?

As well as a good deal of sherry (starting at £5 for 100ml), wine on tap starts at £4 a glass and bottles start at £26. And everything's available by the carafe - something we'd definitely like to see more of in more restaurants. 

Overall?

Morito's already proving to be a big hit, and was packed on the night we went along, creating a lovely buzzy feel (we'd heard it described as loud, but we didn't have too much of a problem). An easy place to recommend and it really adds something new to the area. If you're a Moro fan it's a must-visit, too. 

Morito is at 195 Hackney Road, London E2 8JL. Find out more about Morito.

Hot Dinners were invited to Morito. Prices were correct at the time of writing. 

 

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