On Wednesday I went to a HIIT class. For the uninitiated, that’s High Intensity Interval Training, involving squats, push ups, dumbbells and so on. Basically, some guy with more steel than Robocop yells “You can do better!” while you run around like a demented hamster, sweat every last bit of salt out of your body, and wonder where you went wrong in your life. Sure, I’m exaggerating slightly. (My blog, my prerogative!) And of course the misery of being tortured by exercise doesn’t apply to everyone. My friend that was working out with me is a
dauntingly fit exercise ninja case in point. You get the idea though right?
Naturally, post gym, we need a drink. Two vodkas down we’re pretty certain that dinner is a necessity. We wander up the pretty fairy light lit lane of Exmouth Market, and make our way to Moro. Moro serves North African and Spanish dishes. The restaurant is low lit, with wooden floors and an expansive looking open kitchen.
Once inside, we enthusiastically dart for a table that takes our fancy in the mostly empty restaurant, only to be reprimanded by the unnoticed by us maitre d’. He sidles out of the shadows, “You know, most people that come to our restaurant wait and ask to be seated” he says in mild irritation “Oh”, we say feeling the reproach, “Are we alright to sit here?” “Yes” He gestures to all the empty tables “You can sit where you like”, I’d wonder why he doesn’t just come over and say “Hi, welcome”, but i’m too busy and distracted. There is bread to be eaten.
The bread is delicious. Crunchy and doughy. I happily gobble it up dipped in oil and sprinkled with crushed salt and pepper.
I order the charcoal grilled lamb, aubergine and red cabbage salad with orange blossom and pistachio sauce (£22.00). My friends order the mixed vegetable mezze (£16.50) and the seared sea trout with tomatoes, judion beans, red onion, sweet vinegar and wild oregano (£23.00).
The mixed vegetable mezze is a riot of vibrant colour, fresh crisp vegetables and richly flavoured salads, lentils, carrots, beetroot spinach and cabbage. It’s a fantastic sized portion served with crisp ‘herby’ pitta. It’s the kind of dish you can eat with your eyes before you even try a mouthful.
The sea trout is perfectly cooked, flaking on the edges and pink in the centre. The dish itself is hearty and warming but not heavy. The flavours of the sweet vinegar, tomato and oregano are a jumble of sweet and salty, while the herbs bring a natural freshness to it all.
My lamb is served medium rare. it’s not the ‘falling apart’ style that’s my favourite but it is tender and very succulent. The orange blossom and pistachio sauce is so delicious that I could eat a bowl of it by itself and be happy. Mixed with the smooth aubergine and the crunch of the red cabbage, it really is a beautifully balanced dish. It goes perfectly with the wine we have ordered, a full bodied red, Talento Monastrell/syrah, Jumilla DO 2014 from Spain. It is for 2 to 3 months in french oak barrels, and it’s delicious.
On to dessert. We decide to share the fig leaf ice cream with caramelized figs (£6.50). The desserts menu looked so delicious that I probably could order one of everything. It takes a fair bit of restraint not to. I’m not one to ever skimp on dessert, but it would be a shame to let all of my hard work at the beginning of the evening go to waste.
Turns out giving three girls two pieces of caramelized fig to share causes mass hilarity. It was soft, and a bit stringy around the edges. We were two vodkas and a bottle of red down. It was a bit of a struggle. “Break it off!” my friend says, holding up part of the fig, the rest dangling from her spoon. “I can’t!” I reply giggling, “It won’t break, all I’m managing to do is stroke it with my spoon in the air!”. She gets impatient and shoves the whole piece in her mouth.
“Did you enjoy that?” the waiter asks asks, “You certainly looked like you did… can I get you anything else?” “Err…No, thank you” I reply, “Just the bill please…”
“And perhaps another piece of fig?”
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