For those expecting Morito’s second site to be a carbon copy of the original tiny tapas bar in London’s Exmouth Market – itself a sister restaurant to Moro – don’t. Morito mark II (the original Morito is on Exmouth Market) is Hackney Road’s newest resident, and is gathering a crowd all its own.
It’s far more spacious than Moro’s first little sister. With polished concrete floors, a striking, horseshoe, marble-topped bar, pops of colour and Instagrammable mirrored fish-scale tiles, Morito feels very much at home in its new digs.
The open kitchen is headed by co-owner Samantha Clark and head chef Marianna Leivaditaki. Formerly at Moro, Marianna grew up in Crete and developed her feel for ingredients in her family’s fish restaurant. At Morito she makes exceptionally-sourced produce shine. Buffalo butter that smacks of the farm in Thessaloniki where it began life and the headiest za’atar from Istanbul make the breadbasket irresistible. The greenest pistachios from Gaziantep, the southernmost tip of Turkey, are pounded into a rough sauce to serve with grilled quail and jewels of pomegranate.
The menu is similar to that of the first Morito with tapas, mezze and larger plates at lunch and dinner, but with new dishes, too – made-to-order Moroccan breads for breakfast, homemade halloumi with pickled za’atar, and kid mechoui with goat’s curd, preserved lemon and harissa. Wine is curated by up-and-coming consultant sommelier Emily Harman (formerly of The River Café) and includes bottles from Spain, Portugal and, unusually, the Canary Islands, as well as sherries and digestifs.
A dinner party menu from Morito (recipes by Marianna Leivaditaki)
This recipe for beetroot and almond ajo blanco makes the perfect summer starter.
A quick and easy dinner party main that’s healthy and vibrant as well as looking beautiful on the plate.
Try this colourful dessert for a show-stopping finale to your dinner party. This dessert has plenty of textures, with crunchy pistachios, flaky filo pastry, light and silky cream and refreshing strawberries.
Listen to our interview with Marianna here, as she tells us tales about growing up as a fisherman’s daughter in Crete, including how she used to hang octopus up on her mother’s washing line!