Friday, 2 August 2013

Momo - Nr. Regent Street

25 Heddon street, London, W1B 4BH

Seemingly by coincidence, I've eaten a lot of Middle Eastern cuisine recently. Mezze now flows through my veins and I'm confused if offered food on a plate wider than four inches. Although perhaps this is not a coincidence. The warm weather is driving people to seek suitable cuisine - small bites, smothered in hummus and baba ghanoush, cool white wine, close seating, and conversation in low murmuring voices. If only someone opened a truly Moroccan restaurant - where you sat outside on plastic chairs, cats scratched your ankles, and children sold cigarettes - they'd make a fortune.

Aside from the absence of blatant stereotypes, Momo comes close to achieving this. An interior like the deepest shop in any souk - the kind that can never be found again once you leave - with the doors wide open you are gently wafted by the smell of sweet fruit flavoured shisha from the customers outside. It makes me wonder if this place, situated on a alley running parallel to Regent Street, was originally the set for Rick's Cafe and whether they'll ever be able to move on. Presumably the next occupier will have to sell mezze or move in to camel leather and silver teapots.

Passing comment on the food will be hard. Aside from the delicious cheese briouats and, of course, the various tagines, I can't remember what anything was called. Essentially, we showed up as a large group, hot, sweaty, drank two glasses of wine, and then in typical English style pointed at different cold and hot mezza until we'd chosen ten. Surely though, this is what the cuisine is all about? Getting together as a group and not worrying about the choice of food as it should all be good. And it was. Not a single complaint from any of my friends: apart from the person who chose to foot the drinks bill before realising we'd be gulping down white wine at £40 a bottle.

To paraphrase Dr. Gonzo, I strongly advise you to visit.

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