Looking for a restaurant in Stoke Newington? Read our review of Moio, and check out more suggestions for eating in Stoke Newington here.
Moio in a nutshell
After working at Marylebone’s Michelin-starred Portland, head chef João Ferreira Pinto and sommelier Carolina Seibel joined forces to open this 35-cover restaurant.
What’s the vibe?
The cosy space mixes rustic Portuguese design with Scandi cool. Bouquets of dried tail grass and azulejo tiles act as modest decoration, with warmth radiating from the open kitchen.
Perch at the high bar with a glass of vinho verde, take the window seat to watch the world go by, or choose a wooden table for two, simply laid with ocean-blue napkins.
What’s the food like at Moio?
Clever flavour concoctions make you think after each forkful, although they can challenge at times, too. Order from the à la carte menu, or leave it up to the chef to select his favourite dishes of the night.
Small snacks impress, from the heady hunk of Portuguese morcela sausage with a sweet smack from smoked plum sauce, to Algarve flavoured carrots. Wafer-thin discs pickled with garlic, parsley and champagne vinegar are left for two weeks, then dusted with smoked oat, giving meaty notes to the delicate vegetable.
A take on the classic Portuguese seafood stew sees plump prawns and mussels hiding under a bed of bouncy barley and spiked with samphire to add an extra salty kick; although the oyster on lamb tartare is one seafood step too far, overwhelming the tender meat.
If you’re veggie, pass on the hazelnut cavatelli (it was a little too heavy for our liking) and be wooed with a salad of juicy tomatoes and fresh cheese ice cream (full-fat and crème fraîche). The tangy puddle is calling out to be mopped up with slices of Dusty Knuckle seeded bread.
Dessert steals the show thanks to a wobbly lemon-infused egg custard on an almond and olive oil biscuit base. It’s buttery, zesty and grassy all at once, with a splattering of Swedish berries giving a welcome freshness.
And the drinks?
As much attention is given to wines as to the food, with Carolina sipping each one before she serves it. Portuguese bottles are the focus, from a warm lemon vinho verde to an elderflower tinged Douro.
If you want to get into the Scandi spirit, order an aperitif of home-flavoured Akvavit.
Portions are generous, and it’s the done thing to take leftovers home with you. Anything you can’t finish will be packed into a container for you to feast on the next day.
Words by Ellie Edwards, September 2019
Photographs by Jonathan Sharpe