On returning from not one, but two trips to my (half) native Andalucía this summer, reality struck: My insatiable appetite for all things Spanish had to be addressed by means that didn’t involve an Easyjet flight, time off work or wads of cash. Cue: Morito, one of My Favourite Places picks.
It seems my restaurant hit list grows faster than I can tick it off, and I like to tick. As a result, there are few places I have the luxury of returning for seconds. Morito is one of said few. Big sister, Moro has long reigned in my Top 5 Eats. So, a no booking tapas addition to the Spanish / Arabic prodigy of Sam and Sam Clarke has proven cause for celebration. I’ve dragged chefs there, written café con leche fuelled articles, and brunched with friends over countless negroni sbagliatos. All in the name of inspiration. Here’s my pick of the best bits:
The star dish: Chicharrones de Cádiz – slow roasted pork belly with cumin & lemon. Rich, cumin spiced pulled pork, cut with fresh, tangy lemon juice. Perfection.
Puntillitas (poon-tee-yee-tas): Fried baby squid with sumac. Squid as it should be, yet so rarely is. Not a whiff of chip shop batter smothered rubber-bands. To be clear, I’m not knocking chip shop batter. Fish and chips are a British delicacy I wouldn’t be without. But squid should be dense, yet tender, and semi-wrapped in salty, lemony crispiness. In my opinion.
Ajo blanco: Velvet almond, garlic, olive oil and vinegar. I dithered on whether to include this one; it’s possibly not to everyone’s taste. Super rich, the almond is so potent it could be extract from a bottle. Ajo blanco is a Spanish classic however, and true to Moro form, the olive oil and vinegar umami bring an interesting contrast to the palate.
And Crispy aubergine with miel de caña (nice honey). One to try / play with at home / copy / steal. Watch this space.
Tortilla (tor-tee-ya) de patatas: Spanish omelette. Not something I’d normally have; Dad’s recipe can’t be beaten. Or so I thought. It was a must for fellow eater Daze however, and glad am I. I’m in danger of gushing here, but this is probably the best tortilla I’ve ever eaten. Sorry Daddy.
Be warned, low fat options these are not. Varied in ingredients and nutrients, and utterly addictive in their uncompromised comfort food ecstasy way, they are.
And last but in no way least, the café con leche (strong Spanish latte) is worth a trip to Exmouth Market in its own right. It’s as good as any single origin, locally roasted barista serves up in London’s finest coffee establishments.
But of course, there are three staples on a Spanish menu: coffee, vino and beer. So much so, they’re often cheaper than water. ¡Viva España!