Morito: Exmouth Market
Exmouth market is like a goldmine of great restaurants and one of our favourites is Morito. The little sis of next door's Moro, this tapas restaurant is dishing out small Spanish plates ('spiced lamb, aubergine, yoghurt & pine nuts', 'beetroot borani, feta, dill & walnuts') and finely selected wines. Seating spills out front of the restaurant in summer and it's rammed all year round which give it a nice, buzzy, European vibe. Unfortunately you can't book in advance but it's worth hanging around for.
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Exmouth Market’s old time hero Moro is an ever dependable restaurant serving Mediterranean dishes with a North African twist. Long time fans reckon the best seat in the house is at the bar where staff bring you tapas and top up your wine. We however took a pew at a table and ordered off the a la-carte menu. All the food is deliciously wholesome and tastes like the kind of grub your adoptive Spanish grandma might rustle up after a hard day’s work in the field. The charcoal grilled lamb served with cumin chickpeas and fig salad was a highlight and the fig ice cream pretty much stole the show. After professing our undying love for the ice cream, our waitress informed us that the dessert menu hasn’t changed for 15 years. Some might say this shows a lack of imagination but we say it’s is a decision well made - as grandma used to say - don’t fix what ain’t broken.
***Closed. Liam. 02/18*** This is one of those restaurants that looks so good inside that you're worried the menu will be a fat piece of nothing by comparison. Well we can vouch for the fact that Bilbao Berria squashes that theory. Start off in the wine bar upstairs with a few glasses of red, then move downstairs for inventive tapas dishes like Chargrilled Octopus with Smoked Potatoes, or Pork Belly with Quince Aioli, Pumpkin Purée and Thai Sauce.
Moro (an old favourite on Exmouth Market) gave birth to Morito, which in turn cloned itself forming a new Hackney Morito. It dishes out small tapas style plates inspired by Middle Eastern and Spanish cooking. Think spiced lamb, aubergine, yoghurt and pine nuts; or beetroot borani, feta, dill and walnuts. They also do some larger plates and some fine Moroccan bread. With all these goodies comes a fab wine list. We're fans. You can book a table or chance a walk in for a bar seat but beware it's pretty damn popular. We like it busy though, gives it a nice, buzzy, European vibe.
Berber & Q Shawarma Bar
After learning the ropes under Ottolenghi, Josh Katz opened Berber and Q and started serving up some of the tastiest grilled meats around. It takes the same Middle Eastern and North African flavours that Yotam is famous for and pops them in a more relaxed setting. Shawarma (spit roasting) is the order of the day. This goes for lamb, chicken and cauliflower alike. Expect bowls of rice and lentils topped with Lamb shawarma, harissa and anchovy; or cauliflower shawarma with golden sultanas and pine nuts. To finish off we'll be locking our lips around an ice cream pita sandwich with tahini soft-serve and caramelised banana.