Monday, December 17, 2012

Morito, 1st December

Stephen has been to Morito so often that I almost felt like I'd been myself. He always speaks highly of it and I have been pestering him to go with me for a while. That day finally came when we decided to celebrate our anniversary with a lunch there.

Morito does little plates with a Moorish feel to them. Prices range from 2.50 for an assortment of breads up to about 8.50 for some lamb chops. The place is very fond of cumin.

Because Stephen has been there so often and done the hard work for me, by trying most of the dishes on the menu, I turned to him to lead on the choices and I was pretty much guaranteed that each one was going to be a winner. And they were all good.

I had a carafe of full bodied, syrupy syrah with my meal, although Stephen had a few glasses of this as well as his medium beer. We ordered the bread basket to start - a dense, chewy roll each, a large cumin dusted flatbread to share and some breadstick nibs. The breadstick nibs seemed a bit pointless, not really having anything to dip them in, although I did discover you could roll them in some oil and then roll them in the spices you get on the table, which made them quite nice. The other two breads were delicious and I should have saved more of mine to soak up the extraneous oils, juices and aioli from our little dishes.

You can order as many as you like at a time and they all sort of come out haphazardly. The first to come was the scallop dish with sherry vinegar and butter sauce. One plump scallop which had been sliced neatly in three. 

We then had the jamon croquetas - perfectly crispy on the outside while being soft and creamy inside. And no scrimping on the jamon either.

The lamb chops with cumin and paprika were tasty and once again had me bemoaning that you get so little meat on them. They weren't quite as good as the ones I had in The Painted Heron, and were maybe a tad underdone near the bone. Which was funny in a way, as Stephen had said that the last time he had them, they'd been a little overdone. So I guess consistency on the lamb chops isn't their strong point.

The butifarra sausae with white beans and alioli was a lovely salty, meaty, and slightly stodgy dish. Both the sausage and the lamb chops provided plenty of extra oil, and a bit of alioli to get that bread out and make sure none of it went to waste.

 I think I spot some cumin!

We knew we wanted to end with the grilled tetilla cheese with walnuts and membrillo but we also splurged and ordered one other dish as well with that - the chicharrones. I am so glad we got these - I think they were my favourite dish. Cubes of pork belly in cumin (again!) and lemon. The pork was crispy around the edges but soft and tender in the middle, and I loved the lemony tang.

As we were finishing off with the cheese - the sweet quince bringing out the slightly sweet flavour in the cheese, we had a couple of 'digestifs' to end the meal with. I ordered an amontillado sherry, my first ever sherry, and Stephen had a negroni. That slightly melted tetilla cheese was wonderful, another highlight. I loved the sort of crust on the edge where it had been grilled and then the oozy middle to scoop out and sprinkle with walnuts.

Squidgy, cheesy goodness
I enjoyed my sherry more than I had actually expected. It was much more like a strong wine, quite dry - I think I might now be a sherry drinker! But then I knew that Morito/Moro was a good place to start.


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