There are some restaurants that seem to be on your 'to try' list for a felt eternity. Recommended by reliable sources ( i.e. Time Out or fellow foodie friends) you always want to try the place yet never actually manage for some obscure reason.
Morito is exactly such a place, its location in the middle of Exmouth Market, a wonderful pedestrianised street full of restaurant gems, somehow not quite east nor quite central enough to make it a convenient meeting point and it's no booking policy and limited seating not exactly appealing if you want to eat at any time other than 6pm on a Monday. However Morito's famed execution of classic Spanish tapas with Middle eastern twist proved too hard to resist especially as I had heard it to be of a similar standard to my beloved Honey & Co.
So I made the effort a Saturday night not too long ago and, though we had to dine a little early and were squeezed in a little tight right next to the front door, overlooking too a rather unfortunately placed building site, it all didn't matter as the food proved exceptional. From Spanish tapas staples such as patatas bravas ( which were executed perfectly with just the right mix of tangy tomato sauce and creamy aioli on top of crisp fried potato chunks) and tortilla to more Middle Eastern leaning dishes such as fried chickpeas, pumpkin and tahini yogurt or my personal stand out dish crispy aubergine with whipped feta and date molasses, every of the small dishes we shared was full of unexpected flavours, surprisingly light yet complex. Veggie choices were aplenty, far from an afterthought on the menu, and meant that on this occasion there was no need to fill up on side dishes so that once everything was polished off we were left satisfied yet not overly full, using the excellent flat bread served with the tapas to soak up any left over juices.
Dessert was a little disappointing but then for tapas style dining it is never to be a true focal point - the chefs too busy perhaps for intricate patisserie, the malaga raisin ice cream we shared fine but for me a little too boozy and overall unspectacular. That is the beauty however of being in a very foodie location- not quite done with the evening we commenced to have one last 'dessert' cocktail at Caravan a few doors up. Famed of course for roasting some seriously good coffee, we couldn't help but order a couple espresso martinis, martinis that couldn't have provided a better caffeine kick to end an evening full of culinary discoveries which perhaps I had been a little too lazy to make of late.
Was it worth it? Yes- go to Morito and order until there is no more space for plates even if you have to make a little break away from your usual eating out habits. It won't disappoint.