There is of course something reassuring in finding yourself back where you have may have been before and so this evening I found myself yet again pulling up on a stool next to the bar in Morito.
I have been in London for a conference on the law around property litigation. There may be some defeat in the fact the conference took place in the same building where nine months ago I went to see various talks put on by The Guardian on how to start a food business. At least this time I didn’t turn up there suffering the lingering after effects of a super duper hot mackerel curry – no doubt a relief to those people sat close to me.
All this gave rise to me having a bed for the night in more or less central London. Having misread the placing of a semi-colan in the weekends paper I thought this would give me an opportunity to see Julia Holter in concert. Having started to plan for this it transpired that the semi-colan was there to tell me the concert was on Thursday night instead.
So I was left with fingers to twist. I kept them occupied with a walk to Exmouth Market.
Morito was full when I got there and I left my number and went to have a pint nearby. Just as I was contemplating a second pint a buzz went off by my leg and a minute later I was sat at the bar in Morito perfectly situated about two foot back from the grill and just in front of the terracotta plates of nuts, seeds and saffron there to be picked at and sprinkled over the dishes before they were handed up to be served.
There was a sign up for a vermouth called Cora. I felt bound to ask if they had some – fortunately they didn’t as I might otherwise have been tempted with a bottle to take home with me.
So I twisted the paper menu through my fingers and made my way through it.
The highlights came at the beginning and the end. I started with two Gildas. A cocktail stick threaded with a pickled chilli, a baby pearl onion, a sliver of anchovy and an olive. It came in a burst of taste and heat that lingered on the tongue.
I finished with a lemon posset. Lemon and cream topped with burnt orange and a crunch of nuts.
All the while through eating I was able to watch the food being cooked. Most of it was done by one woman who had some hell with the deep frying and the assembly. I was able to marvel at how she seemed to manage effortlessly cooking for for the thirty or so people in the room with hardly a word being said whilst whenever I do the same at home it is normally for the family and lots of words are said.