Occo’s stylish decor (a modern take on traditional Moroccan crafts) looked a touch worn on our last visit. We arrived well after the popular two-for-one happy hour, but a boisterous young crowd round the bar was more intent on drinking than sampling the Moroccan and Mod Euro fusion menu. The premises contain an intriguing warren of rooms on various levels. A tête-à-tête is best suited to the conservatory: a quiet space, but rather low on atmosphere. The cosy red boudoir room is often colonised by parties. Fresh ingredients and subtle spicing characterise the cooking, and the food made our taste buds sing, but service, though friendly, was haphazard. After an excessive wait, a cod and king prawn brochette (with sweet-potato mash and rich fig and almond-blossom chutney) arrived minus prawns. To be fair, the owner quickly made amends, providing drinks on the house and deducting the dish from our bill. Our other choices – tender calamares in feather-light batter with fragrant fennel and garlic aïoli, and chermoula-marinated sea bream with minty broad-bean and yoghurt zaalouk – ticked all the right boxes. With a sprucing up of decor and service, Occo would be a winner.
58 Crawford Street
|Opening hours:||Lunch served noon-3pm Mon-Fri. Dinner served 6.30-11pm Mon-Fri; 6.30-10pm Sat. Meals served noon-11.30 pm Sun.|
|Transport:||Tube: Edgware Road tube|
|Price:||Main courses £9.95-£13.95. Set lunch £8 1 course.|