8.30pm. Tuesday night. Moro. 34-36 Exmouth Market.
An apéritif at Caravan to fill in the gap between work and dinner, as we waited for M and D to finish at the MW awards at Vintners Hall. Typically delicious and buzzing, it reaffirmed our thoughts that Caravan is the perfect place to go at all times of day.
A hop, skip and a jump past several other restaurants on this bustling street which has become a foodie's haven, we arrived at Moro, commenting en route about how we have never managed to find a seat in Moro's little sister, Morito, who lives next door.
The front of house apologised as we entered that they were so busy and the table for us was so near to the kitchen. Rather than being an apology, for us cooking-obsessed four, this was a celebration. From our seats we could watch all the action in the open kitchen, which centres around a wonderfully-Halloween themed pumpkin, also known as an orange-tiled wood-fired oven. And yes, I did forget to take a photo of it, so if you want to see it you'll have to go and eat there yourself.
D took charge (as always), and ordered a delicious bottle of Portuguese white, apologising to the waitress for his appalling Portuguese accent. She replied, in a very northern accent, that she was from Yorkshire, and hers was consequently none better. A friend was made (finally - good service), and the wine list was spoken in numbers from then on.
Small squares of bread, with a bottle of olive oil to refill the never-quite-big-enough ceramic bowl appeared, and were quickly demolished, soaking up the previously consumed drinks.
Typically of my family, we were not allowed to order the same things. Eating out is 'work', and so as many dishes as possible must be sampled. Fortunately, at Moro, this caused no problem and no argument. Beetroot soup; wild mushroom migas; octopus carpaccio on butter beans; Scottish scallops with oloroso sherry sauce. The octopus won first prize, but all were perfect: a beautiful mix of autumnal colours and flavours. Wood roasted pork; chicken with pumpkin purée and dukkah; lamb with jewelled pilav; sea bass with seafood rice and rocket. Equally sublime.
D isn't a big pudding eater, but even he couldn't resist a couple of mouthfuls of both the malaga and the rosewater and cardamom ice-creams. They looked so perfect, so simple, and yet so styled and were so unbelievably tasty.
Immaculate service, food I dream of, and brilliant design (and also run by a married couple who have the same name), Moro has to be one of the best London restaurants. With the most beautiful cookbooks to match.
Highlight: I don't know where to start
Lowlight: A couple of minutes too long a gap between the starter and the main (soon forgotten reminiscing now a couple of days later)