Morito Hackney — London, UK
Though London’s tastes have evolved since Sam and Sam Clark’s Moro opened in 1997, the restaurant is still name-checked by enthusiasts as the blueprint for perfecting the elegant, communal style of dining the city has fallen in love with. Therefore, it’s of little surprise that two decades later, the duo are still enlightening younger contemporaries. Their third and latest venture, Morito, combines the Southern Spanish and Moorish flavours the pair are known for, along with a dash of the post-industrial terroir of London’s Hackney.
The space - a high-ceilinged expanse of polished concrete and large windows – was co-designed with longtime collaborator Dillwyn Smith, who was entrusted to merge the room’s rawness with the brand’s evocative interiors, starting with the bar. ‘Finding the Azul Macaubas marble for the horseshoe bar was the key’, he says. ‘It was a bold move that informed the other design decisions. The Moors created spaces in which all ones sense are stimulated’. Traditional fish scale tiles adorn concrete pillars, while an open kitchen injects warmth and intimacy into the space, where chef Marianna Leivaditaki adds a dash of her Cretan heritage to the menu; the kid mechoui with goat’s curd is a standout, and always order the seafood rice if it’s on the specials board.