Momo is one of London’s most famous Moroccan restaurants. After a long trip to the African Market in Old Spitalfields, the Africa Fashion team were in need of sustenance and decided to see if the reality of lunch in Momo matched its reputation.
The decor is absolutely on point with a generous outdoor seating area, main restaurant and cafe – the score only dropped to a ‘7’ because the seats were not that comfortable. Service throughout was attentive and friendly, hence the ‘9’. We opted for the cafe, which has souk-style seating, detailed surroundings and a great musical sound track that offers a modern spin on traditional north African music.
There isn’t much space to move around and the copper tops are not attached to the actual tables, which can lead to ‘fun’. Inspection revealed no issues and we were perfectly happy with the hygiene.
The selection options were good, scoring an ‘8’.
We ordered a lamb wrap, hummus with flat bread, a chicken tagine with onions, olives and potatoes – as well as croquets made from zaalouk (aubergine based cooked salad), cheese and cured beef.
An extensive drinks list, but if watching your alcohol intake, and you like your drinks sweet, then the Amistad virgin cocktail is for you – ‘Passion fruit, strawberries and lime muddled with a little sugar and shaken with passion fruit juice.’
Our food was fresh and appeared in no time.
The chicken tagine appears like a bowl of soup, with two chicken breasts that appear to have been boiled with the liquid – and minimal spicing.
Our croquettes were flavoursome, tasting exactly like deep fried cheese and beef.
The hummus was fresh/smooth and the accompanying toasted flatbread was a good option.
The star of the show however, was the lamb wrap. Although clearly prepared with skill and love, it was a little close for comfort to a M&S lunch wrap. The Amistad virgin cocktail was an intense burst of fresh sweet harmony for the taste buds! #momoresto
Overall, the food was interesting to look at, with good textures, even if the flavour was a little bland. For that, we score Momo an ‘8’on quality.
We ordered way too much and, on reflection of our £40 bill, the £9.95 lunch special looks to be the bargain of the day. Value only gets a ‘6’.
As a venue, the cafe is great for work colleagues or meeting up with friends in the early evening. While compact, it isn’t intimate, with the layout akin to walking into an Arabic tunnel. The main restaurant has large tables for parties, as well as comfortable, secluded seating for couples.
We didn’t get to try the sheesha, but plenty of people sitting in the terrace seemed to be enjoying the myriad of available flavours.
You’ll notice tags hanging from the lamps in the café which are on sale; Antique Maghrebi lanterns, tea sets, glassware & apparently the music – which didn’t always capture the traditional North African setting. So it was a bit of a (pleasant) surprise to hear an interesting remix of Cassie’s ‘Me & You’ – which was even more ‘Kicked back’ than the original…
To say that Momo is secluded from the outside is an understatement. Heddon Street is a pedestrianised walk-through that starts and ends on Regent Street – and it is 100% lined with bars and restaurants. Yet Momo is surrounded by huge plants, which means you can see out quite easily, but outsiders can’t easily look in. This adds to the ‘out of the normal world’ experience.
Alongside the main eating areas, there is a basement club which regularly has live music on from 9pm.
Opinion was split on the best way to score Momo overall. You could assemble a similar set of foods from a supermarket for a fraction of the price, but the venue itself is very special. We would like to have been a little more surprised by the cuisine but, overall, our experience was a good one.
In conclusion, Momo is a good experience but, again, we left talking more about the decor than the food. Overall, we score it an ‘8’.
Is it the best Moroccan food in London? Well a London cabby (originally from Casablanca) told us that the correct answer is ‘Couscous Cafe in Bayswater’ – so we will be bringing you a comparison shortly!
In the meantime, here’s a shot of the main restaurant area.