Skip to content

Morito – Vegan Monday, Hackney Road, food review: ‘No better place for a first-time vegan’

Morito serves up fusion tapas on Hackney Road. Photograph: Morito

American rapper Freddie Gibbs recently exclaimed during an interview with Brick magazine at Morito, a tapas restaurant on Hackney Road, that the lamb chops are “some of the best I’ve ever had”.

He repeated: “These some good ass chops, boy!”

With such a ringing endorsement for its meat, I was intrigued to see how Morito’s new Vegan Monday menu goes down.

The weekly event swaps the chops, sausages and jamon for plates where the stars are aubergines, leeks and deep fried kale.

The vegan twists even stretch to the cocktails.

Photograph: Morito

My Moscow Mule has the delightful addition of beetroot and rhubarb, which brought an element of smoothness, as well as the illusion that it might be healthier than its sharper, more caustic ancestor.

Whilst enjoying the cocktails I navigated my way through the menu inspired by Spanish, North African and Eastern Mediterranean cuisines.

The selection is varied and unique, and the names quite exotic-sounding, revealing both the apparent depth of vegan cuisine and, in my attempts to divine which descriptions applied to which vegetable, the dearth of my own multilingual capabilities.

I enjoyed the patatas bravas, a flavourful combination of thick wedges of potato with a light tomato sauce, and the butternut squash tortilla – one of my favourites.

The artichoke with a fava bean sauce was fantastic, as were the grilled leeks and romesco sauce, which perfectly complimented each other.

But the stand-out of the night was the deep-fried aubergine.

Grilled peppers. Photograph: Morito

All of this was paired wonderfully with a dry and fruity wine chosen by one of the many, very helpful staff.

The puddings that followed were similarly delicious and creative – a light and flavourful pear sorbet, and a salted caramel tahini cheesecake full of depth and maturity.

The combination of textures and flavours on display throughout the evening melded perfectly; each dish was clearly crafted with care. This is an establishment that takes great pride in delivering exciting food.

For my first experience of vegan cuisine, I do not think I could have dined anywhere better.

Real news stories don't come cheap.

The Hackney Citizen is the borough’s only independent newspaper, and is now in its tenth year.

Our hard-hitting journalism has uncovered fire safety failures in tower blocks, revealed plans to criminalise rough sleepers, exposed dodgy letting agents and reported on many other issues of public concern.

We’ve always been totally free in print and online, but advertising revenues are falling.

That’s why we’re asking for your help.

Hackney Citizen’s high quality journalism is produced by a small team on a shoestring budget, so we’re asking you to make a monthly contribution to fund our work, enabling the paper to survive and thrive.

Support the Hackney Citizen from as little as £2 per month.

Can you spare £4 a month or more? Get the paper delivered direct to your door each month! (UK only)