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9 Love It
© Darren Chung
© Britta Jaschinski
© Britta Jaschinski
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This Exmouth eminence set the benchmark for distinctly British Iberian-with-a-North-African-twist Mediterranean cooking, and it's still in the front rank.

Sam(antha) and Sam Clark’s Exmouth Market restaurant and cookbook set the benchmark for a distinctly British style of Iberian-with-a-North-African-twist Mediterranean cooking, and they’re still in the front rank 15 years later. Devotees (including many affluent older diners as well as the fashionable of Clerkenwell) forgive its quirks, like the difficulty in getting a table, and the noise level produced by the hard-surfaced, vaguely post-industrial decor, which often means conversations must be conducted at a shout.

In return, they get bright, attentive service; a spectacular showcase of modern Spanish and Portuguese wines; and vibrantly fresh food that throws out surprising and pleasurable flavours at every turn. Chickpea salad with cherry tomatoes, dill and deep-flavoured morel mushrooms, and prawns, braised peas and wild garlic on toast were memorably unusual starters. Wood-roasted pork was offset in flavour and texture by an amazingly fresh hazelnut picada (like a nut pesto), and chargrilled trout was cleverly balanced by lemon, capers and a bitter note from hispi cabbage.

Our only complaint would be that some elements were a little too oily: the olive oil is first-rate, granted, but it can still be over-used. But palates were cleared by an exquisitely sybaritic blood orange and rosewater sorbet.


Venue name: Moro
Address: 34-36 Exmouth Market
Opening hours: Bar Open noon-10.30pm Mon-Sat; 12.30-2.45pm Sun. Tapas served noon-10.30pm Mon-Sat. Tapas £3.50-£14.50.Restaurant Lunch served noon-2.30pm Mon-Sat; 12.30-2.45pm Sun. Dinner served 6-10.30pm Mon-Sat
Transport: Tube: Angel tube or Farringdon tube/rail or bus 19, 38, 341
Price: Main courses £16.50-£21

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:10
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:8
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Sarah G

Booked this for a special & unusual anniversary! 20 years of a friendship & work - so wanted somewhere stylish & fun. We wanted a 'big' night so had an early start - 6pm booking. I'm never a fan of the 2 hour sitting & I think that pressure affected my enjoyment as the service was off!

The restaurant is stylish, v Islington - light, airy, understated. The menu really interesting! I had morcilla & sweetcorn purée - an unusual & genius combo that was delicious, then sole with courgettes & cuttlefish & some sort of tiny pasta. I felt the sole was a touched undercooked & the whole thing lacked flavour & there was no sign of the cuttlefish! I was never asked how it was so didn't get a chance to tell the restaurant!

Dessert was a chocolate & apricot tart with yoghurt & I had the recommended accompanying sherry! The dish was gorgeous & the sherry perhaps the most perfect I've ever had! But the tart was v loose & the presentation pretty sloppy! The bill was around £75 each - which for what we had was v reasonable!

The food was all lovely & the service knowledgeable but I felt dissatisfied overall as the obvious efficiency to get us done in the 2 hour slot alongside v slow drinks meant it wasn't as enjoyable or relaxing as it should be. Our 'opening' drinks arrived after our starter. The wine well after the main & the dessert & sherry arrived well before we'd finished the wine & all long before the slot was up. So overall not the luxurious experience I was hoping for - but I would if the op arose go back for the fab food & sherry combos - because despite my gripes I cleared every last mouthful of every plate!

Lisa S

Every Londoner needs to eat here at least once. Authentic middle eastern food.

Cookie Monster

A very nice restaurant with a good selection of food and wine and great tasting dishes. The tables are on the small side, which makes the evening a little less comfortable than it could be.

Bonnie W

I found the food good, but pricey. I am vegetarian and there was only one option for a main which cost £16. My boyfriend really enjoyed the lamb that he ordered but it's not somewhere we will rush back to. I didn't think that the decor did much to add to the experience. The walls are pretty much white and bare except for a big green strip painted along one of the walls. Overall, good food but I've had better for less money.


I'm aware that Moro has had more hype that Kim K's derriere, so I decided to go there for my birthday. What's a tad annoying is that you can only book a table at 6pm or 8.30pm. I opted for 6pm to keep the peace with the oldies, but when we arrived it was dead as a dodo, so they finally caved and let us return at 7pm. Upon arrival we were greeted with bread which was tougher than Gandhi's flipflop, to the extent that we pretty much used up the entire bottle of olive oil to lubricate it down. But it's free bread, so who's complaining. The restaurant itself attempts to doll up Northern African cuisine, but please do not assume that this means that all wine will taste great, because the house white is revolting, and in no way worth what we paid. Mains are all around the £24 mark, so make sure you ask for the meaning behind ingredients if you're at a loss to what "morels and oloroso" are - you don't want to make the wrong choice. I went for the wood roasted sea bass with pea, orange and green anise salad and braised fennel, which was absolutely stunning, but the lamb and chicken looked divine as well, and everyone pretty much inhaled all their food. The portions are massive though and meals don't come with a side of stodge, so my advice would of course be to fill up on the stale bread - just remove your dentures first.

Chesca R

My husband took me for dinner at Moro's for my birthday treat and didn't he do well! The food was incredible. I had the mackerel with rhubarb which would make it on the list as a contender for my death row meal and my pudding was the signature yoghurt cake with pistachios and pomegranate which was insanely good. Even the bread and oil pre meal was delicious. I can't wait to return. 

Staff Writer

Moro remains one of my absolute favourites in London. I prefer scoring a spot at the bar and working my way through the tapas menu. Top wine list. Service is always excellent, and a really lovely atmosphere. Great to see they are now open for lunch on Sunday.  

Sébastien Garnet


Good food. Impressive Spanish wine list. Fishes were very good. But if you are looking for the tapas, go next door at the "Morito". Moro does not propose tapas ...

Bryan E

Aggressive service. The manager demanded the table back three quarters of an hour before the time given to us. What's more he was unapologetic and angry. We had been model diners and not made a fuss about the way the waitress was whisking the plates away almost before we had finished eating. We were not about to ruin our evening by arguing, so paid up and left with half a bottle of expensive wine sitting on the table.  This restaurant unfortunately feels that it has the right to treat customers as an irritating impediment to smooth running.    


Great restaurant, one of my favorites in London. Had diner at Moro this night, and food and service were absolutely great. You could add a 'dining alone' stamp to the review, as they always make a space available at the bar when eating alone, and that's a good spot to dine on your own.


We dined here last night and it was absolutely superb! The service was welcoming & friendly whilst precise and efficient. We selected a range of dishes and all were delicious.


It's rare to go somewhere in London where the service, ambience and food are all amazing and in equal measure. Having spent a lot of time choosing a restaurant for my mum's birthday, we settled on Moro, and did not regret our decision. From the moment we walked in, the service was attentive and personal. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. All in all - this restuarant deserves 5 *.


Recalled really enjoying a meal here on my one previous visit several years ago so returned yesterday expecting more of the same only to be disappointed. In a nutshell: portions were meagre, food lacked interest, prices (mains in particular) were unwarranted. What really soured the experience, however, was the arrogant and dismissive attitude of the maitre'd who really ought to examine whether the service sector is where he really wants to be!


Have been to Moro on and off for 15 years. We went again last week. Excellent as ever. Fine friendly service, knowledgable staff and food that is exceptional: interesting, flavoursome, inviting. The best bread in london. A wine list with dozens if interesting well priced spanish wines. I see a lot of negative reviews but I cannot understand why. Every time I go it reminds me of what a great restaurant should be.

Jeno new zealand

After all the hype it was one of the most disappointing meals I have had in London in 15 years. I work in hospitality and found the service slow, food very average, over priced and bland. If you are after the north African flavours mentioned on the website you will be dissapoipnted.


Went to Moro on a Sunday lunchtime following a recommendation but very disappointed. Couples were seated at tables on a long row with not much space between, to be expected when a place is brimming with clientele but the place was only a third full. Food was uninspiring and presentation boring, lentils on a plate with three slices of pork, a couple of chunks of aubergines and a highly oiled salmorejo sauce did not warrant the extortionate bill, altogether a very uninspired visit. Won't be going back.


Went to Moro for the second time for my boyfriends birthday and it was lovely. The staff were so friendly and happy to serve up a birthday cake that I'd brought with us after the meal. The food was incredible and completely worth the money. Moro has an unpretentious, friendly, and welcoming atmosphere. Wish I could afford to eat there every day!!

Andy S

The food was great, much enjoyed, but the service was risible. We waited 45 minutes from the end of the starter to the mains being serviced. Every single time we wanted a drink we had to flag someone down and my wife even had to get up and interrupt three waitresses chatting to get the bill. I was really disappointed and couldn't imagine recommending Moro.


It's hard to find good tapas but unfortunately I wouldn't recommend Moro - expensive, food too salty, ridiculously small portions and very arrogant staff. Seems like a place resting on it's laurels!


All I can say about the other comments is "Bad Luck" ... we waltzed in at 10pm on a Friday and had one of the most defining food moments of London (and our lives)!


We were warmly welcomed by a very enthusiastic maitre d' but once seated it was definitely not service with a smile. The waiters were not forthcoming. Not once were we asked how our meal was or whether we wanted more drinks. The food was terrible-plain, tasteless and massively over-priced. Particularly the starters ( avoid the jamon and peas, you will be de-podding those raw suckers for ever! ) Won't be going back!


Really disappointed... I went to Moro on Saturday. The waiters were nice, but the food was really boring. The chicken I had was tender but the sides were terribly boring and the whole thing was presented like a canteen. I won't return. Also, I am working from time to time close to Moro and they have a tent on Exmouth Market. The hygiene is terrible, the woman makes your things with hands with gloves, but then take the money with the same gloves. She is not friendly at all and I won't return either.


Extremely disappointing meal. Dirty tables, lackluster service, dull tapas menu, an uninspired and tasteless main and far too over-priced for the quality.