This is why I was absolutely delighted when I heard that Morito was opening another branch in east and not just in east but literally a 6 minutes walk from my house, as luck would have it also right next to my favourite wine bar in London, Sager & Wilde.
Things only got more enticing when I heard this new Morito was also taking bookings (not a given in London where most "hip" and good restaurants have a strictly no reservations policy) which is why I made sure I got myself a reservation asap once they had opened their doors to the public.
The dining room is bright with a Mediterranean feel and the different salts and spices beautifully presented on a terracotta dish on our table immediately got me excited about the flavours we were going to experience even before we had glanced at the menu. Like at the original Morito it's all about sharing here so I would recommend about 4-5 dishes between two which isn't exactly difficult when I wanted to order just about everything sans the meat on the menu. Their vegetable section for example is absolutely stellar and probably the best I have seen in London. Order the labneh (a strained yogurt dip) topped with chillies and broad beans and be awed as you soak it up with a freshly baked pitta. Go for the deep fried aubergine with molasses and feta and have your mind blown, in fact I booked a return visit to Morito the next day as their broken fryer that evening meant I couldn't sample it on my first visit but BOY was it worth returning for. To be totally honest I had to restrain myself from reordering both the aubergine and labneh, they were that bloody brilliant.
However it's not like the other dishes were any less fantastic- a simple chopped salad of tomato and avocado was bursting with fresh flavours and showed how tasty and satisfying a truly great salad can be while some gorgeous cheese fritters drizzled with Cretan thyme honey went down way too quick with their fantastic combination of salty and sweet. A fish dish of cod croquettes with aioli showcased that they not only excel at vegetables but also know how to cook fish and meat equally well. In fact not one dish disappointed, everything flying out of the kitchen innovative, fresh, beautifully presented and a real joy to eat.
Go and book a table. You'll thank me later.