Summer time in London does many strange things to Londoners. For example, all of a sudden, people think they are odour-invincible and venture onto the tube with no deodorant, whilst others decide clothes are overrated. Some, like myself, suddenly enjoy dining al-fresco, as though flies and insects are a summer delicacy. To be fair they’re probably a lot riper in the summer. MoMo’s is one such restaurant that offers a pleasant al-fresco experience (without the insects of course). Located amongst the remote backstreets of Piccadilly circus, MoMo’s offers fine Moroccan cuisine in even finer surroundings. All the meat here is halal, though you may wish to double-check as my visit was quite a few moons ago. Alcohol is served.
I’ve visited MoMo’s on one occasion with Steak – (I’ve decided to give any friends or family I mention on this blog a nickname from here on out because I’m bored of typing “my friend” all the time). Most of my restaurant expeditions are carried out with Steak and she gives me a lot of second opinions for reviews and may be writing a few of her own. Thus she gets the honour of being named “Steak”. Which I guess makes me “Teeth”. The name for my blog suddenly went from mildly cool to extremely corny. Anyway, on with the review.
My first visit to MoMo’s involved an order of couscous along with the “MoMo grill” which consisted of lamb cutlets, merguez, chicken kofte and honey roasted quail, accompanied by green beans. A very nice assortment of animals indeed. The lamb merguez was soft and crumbly in texture with a firmer outer layer, retaining a good level of moisture and a strong level of flavour with a moderately powerful spicy kick. Though some of the moisture had been cooked out of the centre of the lamb cutlets, they were equally tender and flavoursome, splitting with little resistance when introduced to cutlery.
The chicken kofte possessed a crispy outer skin, within which resided minced chicken, packed together in a fairly light density. The resulting soft texture was pleasant, and the kofte delivered a mild, light-footed tap of spice, though it wasn’t quite as spectacular as the other pieces of meat. The honey roasted quail was the star component of the dish. The quail possessed a glazed, tender texture and a mildly sweet flavour that satisfied the tastebuds and brought a desirable contrast to the otherwise lamb dominated dish. The green beans provided a contrasting crunchy texture, whilst the couscous was soft and moist, and complemented each piece of meat well. A simple staple side dish. Nothing says “Moroccan” like couscous. Except maybe the word “Moroccan”.
All in all, it was a very well-crafted dish. Simple and elegantly presented, with plenty to offer to the palate.
Value For Money: 3/5
My MoMo grill was around £17-£20, and whilst the portion wasn’t particularly large, this is to be expected at a higher-end restaurant. It wasn’t too rabbit-sized a portion by usual mid-to-high-end-restaurant standards anyway. Every item was of a high quality and cooked to a high standard, and given the location, the excellent service, and the attractive surroundings, I would say the prices are very reasonable indeed. Take note that we dined at lunch time, and dinner prices are slightly higher, with main dishes residing around the £30 mark. Still rather reasonable.
The staff at MoMo’s are fantastically friendly and welcoming. You receive a personal level of attention and service from the moment you walk in to the moment you hand over your hard earned funds.
Though I can’t comment on the restaurant interior as I dined outside (probably because I’d scare the other patrons), you’ll see from other reviews and photos that the restaurant is rather attractive indeed. The al-fresco area consists of comfortable outdoor furniture and is fenced off in a rather attractive fashion, providing a sense of privacy from the busier (yet quiet) cobbled streets outside. MoMo’s also consists of cafe, bar and terrace areas, though I can’t comment on them as of yet.
The restaurant is a 10-to-15-minute walk from Piccadilly Circus station, and parking in the local area is probably non-existent.
Again, I can’t comment on the atmosphere within the restaurant itself, but in the summer air, the al-fresco area provides a calm and relaxing dining environment, where you can enjoy a fairly private summer lunch with your dining companions. I’m sure it would be equally wonderful any other time of the year too.
Overall, MoMo’s provides a fine example of Moroccan cuisine and an equally fine example of a pleasant British summer dining experience – minus the flying ants and the sudden torrential downpour that turns your barbecue into a giant soup. Worth checking out.
25 Heddon Street
London W1B 4BH
Telephone: 020 7434 4040