Momo

Why go here:

For authentic Moroccan food at one of London’s oldest restaurants known for its ambience, cocktails and as Usher’s go-to place to eat.

What it looks like:

Momo includes the dining looking upon the traditional Moroccan open kitchen; a cafe with shisha and a cocktail bar. The whole place is kitted out with rugs, glass lamps and engraved brass vases. The seating in the restaurant comprises of low slung tables whereas the cafe has more comfy seating of cushioned mattresses. With the dim lighting, the music, the sweet smell of tagines and mint tea in the air and the intimate seating, this place is rightfully hailed as one of London’s most romantic.

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However, I did find the service to be a little lacking. They brought us the wrong dishes initially and kept interrupting our conversations during meals to check what else we’d like to order, even though we’d clarified that we weren’t intending to place any additional orders of food and drinks.

The food:

The menu is primarily Moroccan with some elements of other cuisines introduced to keep the offerings modern and interesting. But we were keen to try the traditional dishes, specially since we’d been to Morocco just a few months back and we wanted to compare how ‘traditional’ the dishes really were.

For starters, I had the Pigeon Pastilla, a pastry filled with a sweet and cinnamon flavoured mix of tender pigeon meat, almonds and marmalade. While this was quite tasty, I did find it a bit unusual since I am not used to such sweet dishes to kick off a meal.

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I enjoyed the  Fish Bourek better- a thin baked pastry filled with a mix of prawns, scallops and charmoula.

For main, you have to try one of the tagines. They really do match the Marrakech ones on quality and taste. I definitely felt transported back to my trip and to the roof top dinners overlooking the bustling central square. The only difference was in the price tag and also in the size- the portion sizes here are much bigger. My pot was filled to the brim with chicken, lemons, olives, caramelised onions and lemon couscous.

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My friend ordered the Couscous Berber that came with a glass of Labneh Milk, which was a bit like a salty lassi. The portion size was massive, but the dish did feel a bit dry. Maybe they could have incorporated some of the yoghurt into the dish to add some moisture instead of serving it on the side as a drink.

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The cocktails here are also quite good. I tried one of Momo’s signature cocktails- the Lavender Fantasy, which was really refreshing and went well with the heat of the tagine.

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Verdict:

Must visit if you want to try authentic Moroccan food. Good place for an intimate sexy date, that transports you to Morocco in the midst of London. Worth going for shisha to the cafe post-dinner, instead of the standard drinks.

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