Saturday, 4 March 2017

Mora Restaurant, Leytonstone

I was delighted to discover a new Italian restaurant opening not 10 minutes walk from my front door. Mora Italian Restaurant sits on High Road Leytonstone, and has a strong Sardinian influence (the co-owners are Sardinian themselves). Funnily enough, I discovered it walking past it on the way to and from my local sometimes going to the gym does pay off, though possibly not in the way I am intending it too..! Exhausted after my marathon of a gym session (naturally), I've often peered through the glass windows on my way home, eyeing up steaming bowls of fresh pasta or oozing risotto from in front of content diners. So after a particularly vigorous 10 minutes on the exercise bike last Saturday, I decided it was about time that I enjoyed some of this pasta too- I'd earned it after all!

Mora is a buzzing little place, and my brother and I were only just able to reserve a table for that evening- always a good sign. We ordered promptly, starting with a bread basket, which was brimming with three types of freshly baked warm bread; Focaccia, Carasau (a flat Sardinian crisp bread with herbs), and a brown crusty variety, plus olives, oil & vinegar for dipping. We also ordered a tomato and mozarella crostino with Sardinian salami, which was pure comfort food. Fresh tomato paste slathered on griddled toast, topped with blobs of melted mozzarella, and the softest salami, full of melt-in-the-mouth buttery fat.

For our main course we both veered towards pasta dishes- how could we not when they make their own pasta fresh each day. A generous bowl of pappardelle with wild boar ragu was just rich enough, with the beautiful thick ribbons of pasta containing just the right amount of aldente chew. We also chose taglioni cacio e pepe (taglioni with pecorino and black pepper), a good bench mark of a dish for any Italian restaurant. This was a rich and buttery nest of deliciousness, and definitely a stand out dish for me. We enjoyed our food with the house red, which was the perfect pairing.

Then onto pudding (when in Rome...), an Affogato (vanilla ice cream with espresso poured over the top) and it had to be the tiramisu; a creamy yet light coffee-soaked pud, which was another hit.

Mora was an absolute carb-filled disaster for our so-called diets, but worth every delicious mouthful. It may take a little more than my 10 minute stint on the exercise bike to redeem myself this time, but as Sophia Loren said 'I'd much rather eat pasta and drink wine than be a size zero'. Hear, hear!