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“If you want to be bullied and told off on your birthday, this is the place for you.”
Review of Moro Restaurant

Moro Restaurant
Ranked #1,015 of 23,995 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $27 - $46
Cuisines: European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Neighborhood: Clerkenwell
Description: It might be one of the hippest venues in one of the hippest parts of the capital but this Clerkenwell restaurant still manages to be relaxed and more concerned with good food than being trendy. The restaurant’s décor with its polished wooden floors, long zinc bar and open view to the kitchen and its charcoal grill and wood-burning oven is functional but welcoming. The Moorish cuisine complete with subtle European influence is every bit as striking as it was when the restaurant opened its doors nearly ten years ago. Tapas served all day at the bar. Reservations taken by phone and directly from our website.PLEASE NOTE - Moro restaurant is now open seven days a week. Please refer to our website for correct opening hours
Reviewed August 15, 2010

If you're into S&M then knock yourself out but if you like to have decent service and a dining experience that leaves you with your self-esteem in tact give Moro a miss. I have had many a delicious meal at Moro over the years and cooked from the clever Sam & Sam Clark's books for friends. However, I will not be going back after being treated like a naughty child being made to sit on the naughty step.

I'd made a reservation several weeks in advance for a group of 6. Illness made me cancel the booking down to two, which I did giving 24 hours notice. When we arrived we were shown into the annexe. A room already lacking in atmosphere, we were seated next to an American family who had clearly run out of things to say to each other after their travels and seemed overly interested in us. As there were various tables available, we asked to move into the main restaurant. The waiter was courteous and said he'd check. The maitre d' came and tutted at us and said "You are very difficult to accommodate as you were meant to be six. This is a big problem for me." This was followed by a deep sigh as he gestured in an offhand way to another table. Rather than explain that the booking had changed due to very sad circumstances I bit my tongue. I was already feeling a bit of a saddo out with my husband having had my friends understandably cancel on me and this was the cherry on the cake in bursting the atmospheric bubble.

The food was dull - I ate the salmon. It was also slow - taking over an hour to arrive by which point we decided to skip dessert and get the bill and go elsewhere for a nightcap. I asked the waiter if the owners were available as in the past they had been more hands on. He informed me that they have recently had a baby and the maitre d' was newly appointed.

Perhaps a case of power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Poor food, poor service and a rude maitre d' all yours for £100

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1  Thank Moorish71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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800 - 804 of 875 reviews

Reviewed August 9, 2010

Restaurant itself is presentable. Overall meal experience was ok. Toilets are clean. Service ok.

But, why put five people on a table for four and then have no place to put the meals. The whole time we were there there was a round table of five and six available but we couldn't have it.

A £3.50 bottle of beer was £4.50. The restaurant is in Exmouth market, not the West End????

Out of the five starters and five mains, i.e. ten dishes, six were mainly garlic with some added produce. Wish we could have said what over the over powering flavour.

The pork was the best dish but it needed more salt according to at least two who tasted it.

For the price and quality of delivery, sorry no we wouldn't go back.

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Thank avatar777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2010

At the end of what was otherwise a marvelous month in London, I was looking forward to Saturday night dinner at Moro. I made the reservation for 7 PM, hoping that it wouldn't be too hectic. I arrived just a little before 7 with my partner, and the restaurant was pretty empty save for a few early birds eating leisurely at the bar and a few couples in the front part of the room.

Despite the abundance of waitstaff, my companion and I were left cooling our heels for a good 10 minutes before someone noticed us. Now for your local understaffed pub this might be understandable, but for a restaurant of Moro's hype, not having a front-of-house to greet guests at 7 PM (we're not talking turnover time, e.g., 4-5 PM) is unacceptable. Our waitress was clearly disinterested in providing any kind of service and the maitre'd actually had to come over and take our order.

The first courses came: I had a chorizo and warm tomato salad, while my partner had what amounted to prawns on toast. The salad was good but nothing to write home about: good-quality cherry tomatoes marinated in olive oil with some flat-leaf parsley, thrown in the pan for a few minutes with ground chorizo and red onion. A lay-up for the chef on a busy Saturday night. My partner's course was better, save for the brittle bread which probably would have been better if paired with some larger tiger prawns instead of the tiny shrimps.

As might be expected by an order hurriedly taken, they forgot my wine. This was immediately rectified. Our waitress came over, cleared our plates and asked if everything was good. OK, she seems to be making an effort.

A couple was then seated next to us and their food, incidentally, came out a good 20 minutes earlier than ours. Even more troubling was that the same waitress responsible for our table was very attentive to the one on our other side, asking whether at what temperature the gentleman would prefer his lamb -- a question which was not asked of myself even though I ordered the same thing.

My lamb -- more well done than what I would like -- came out nearly stone cold. I did not ask for it to be sent back, one because having worked at a number of restaurants in my time I know that in many cases meat is simply put under the lights for a few moments. Tender cold lamb I can eat; leathery overcooked meat I will not. The dish was fine, but again, very middle-of-the-road. If you want North African-inspired, I'd suggest going to the real thing and checking out Azou in Stamford Brook (which, by the way, is going to be completely mobbed in the fall now that Gordon Ramsay has decided to feature it on his show come October; Stamford Brook is also home to 101 Thai, which IMHO, is one of London's best Thai if you stick with the sea bass-related dishes).

At the end of the dinner, I was incensed enough to write a long note and summon the front-of-house, the AWOL maitre'd who should have been present when we first arrived. He did his best to make up for what was a seriously underwhelming experience which is the only reason why I'm not rating this establishment a "1". It was my hope he would say something to our sullen waitress, but I suspect not.

And I'm not saying anything, but it is interesting to note that we were the only non-white couple on that particular waitress's watch....just a note.

In all, on a street that boasts terrific establishments like Medcalf and the fabulous Caravan, Moro really needs to get it together. Living off exhaust fumes of past glory might do for now, but not in the long run.

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Thank epanonica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2010

This well established eatery has lost none of its passion, it would seem. I was part of a large group and the service was exemplary. The food stood out for the strength of flavours and the combinations, which are not run-of-the-mill. Interesting wine list, drawn almost exclusively from Spain and Portugal.

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Thank PBCinEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2010

I've been before a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it but the experience last night was disappointing. Staff were brusque to the point of rudeness (one waiter actually manhandled me out of his way as I stood up to let a fellow diner take his place, which is quite impressive considering the waiter was carrying three plates) and veggie options minimal to the point of one per course. So I ended up paying £15.50 for a desert spoon each of Syrian lentils, taboulleh, coleslaw with more chili than cabbage, a puree of unknown provenance, four bits of roast beetroot in dill (my least favourite herb), a tablespoon of humous, a bit of flatbread, a spring onion and a thin slice of baby carrott. Oh, and a radish (yuck!)
I'd already had the Syrian lentils and humous as a starter.
So altogether a grossly over-priced lack of effort. Not recommended for vegetarians or anyone with cashflow issues. Shame to see a once great restaurant fall into the trap of complacency and self-satisfaction when a bit more effort, choice and imagination would have raised it well above the average

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Thank chrissyboi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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