It is fair to say that I am not a great judge of distance when looking at a street map of London and working out how far I might have to walk.
Monday night I was staying at a hotel in Shoreditch on Hackney Road. Clerkenwell was on the previous page in the A-Z so I figured it wouldn’t be too far to walk and that I could therefore have myself a meal out in Morito. It transpires that the page and a half of map made up about two an a half miles that took me a good hour to walk.
There was some good graffiti on the way but is was a relief to stumble into Exmouth Market and its bright fairy lights and even more of a relief that there was one seat left in Morito where I could perch and look out onto the street. I was offered a glass of water but took a glass of beer instead to settle my weak legs and started to go through the menu.
I started with a small dish of beetroot borani, dill, feta and walnuts into which I dipped hunks of flat bread. The beetroot borani was not dissimilar to the beetroot I had cooked to go with Sunday lunch although the feta and walnuts gave it an added crunch.
I then moved onto a couple of salt cod croquettes with alioli. I had been thinking about these all week and they were worth the wait. If I get myself organised I may try and make some this weekend.
Having polished those off I was able to shift seats so I was sat in a corner from where I could look out over the street and look back across to the bar.
It was then onto a small carafe of red wine and a plate of chipirones with sumac and alioli. These were baby squid no more than an inch long fried whole.
I decided to finish the meal off with a plate of chicharrones de cadiz with cumin and lemon. I had made these at home a few months ago. A slow cooked pork belly cut into bite sized squares and then fried. They were very good and so meltingly sticky that they made my teeth stick together.
That was meant to be the end of the meal but I needed something to cut through the richness of the pork so I had some malaga raisin ice cream which came drenched in sweet dark pedro ximenez. It seemed churlish not have a glass of pedro ximenez to with it.
One of the women behind the bar was fiddling with the iPod that was playing the music and so I found myself listening to what sounded like The Heptones although I wasn’t quite sure. It was tempting to stay on with another glass of the pedro ximinez to see if Party Time came on but it might not have been The Heptones and I could have ended up there all night. That might not have been a bad thing in some ways and would have made for a more interesting Tuesday morning.
As I paid my eye was caught by a stack of clean tea-towels they were selling so I got one of those as well. Apparently the first one they had sold.
There was more good graffiti on the walk back which took another hour. I managed to avoid being distracted by the neon lights for a striptease and a tobacco tasting station outside the hotel.
The tea-towel is in the kitchen waiting to get used. I will have to dig out The Heptones to listen to whilst I am using it.