True love was declared on a Saturday afternoon in Leytonstone. The object of affection is the Sardinian restaurant Mora situated just past Leytonstone Overground and the fantastically good Thai restaurant Singburi. I was a little disappointed that this announcement of amour was directed to food on a plate, but can fully understand the sentiment. The food at Mora is amongst the best we’ve ever eaten and you don’t expect to find that on Leytonstone High Road. The first time we visited since it opened in March this year – was with an Italian friend who gave her seal of approval despite loyalty to her Sicilian regional roots. We had the antipasti, burrata and the crisp Sardinian Carasau bread.
This time I was sold on the four specials on the board, but then the black truffle menu caught my attention – risottos, carpaccio, pasta and steak all with the king of foresty fungus. This was a dining dilemma!
We opted in the end to share so we could sample as many dishes as possible, starting with the Octopus Salad – delicately boiled octopus teamed with cold potatoes, carrots and celery in a light vinagrette (£9). But then next was the dish that lead to the declarations of love – Beef Carpaccio with Black Truffle (£12). It’s a simple enough dish but only when done with passion, and a generosity of ingredients does it work this magic. The wafer thin slices of raw beef were presented to the table then the black truffle was shaved all over. Soft, sweet beef and crunchy fresh truffle is a marriage of taste and texture that I will keep remembering and talking about.The pictures can’t possibly do it justice.
Mora specialise in small batches of homemade tagliatelle, pappardelle, gnocchi and ravioli pasta with speciality sauces including Italian sausage, wild boar ragu or bottarga – air dried mullet roe. This week we loved the Hake and Ricotta Ravioli in prawn and leek sauce (£12), and the fiery Fregola Artigianale – Sardinian couscous with courgette and prawns (£14).
This was accompanied by a glass of well recommended Italian Chardonnay from a small producer and a local Hackney lemonade.
The deserts include a panacotta with myrtle berry sauce (£5), tiramisu or Italian speciality cheeses. This time we only had room saved for a scoop of the dark chocolate sorbet (£2) from Stratford-based La Gelatiera and a couple of espressos.
Mora 487 High Road Leytonstone, London, E11 4PG
Mon – Fri 5–11pm, Sat 12–11pm, Sun 12–9.30pm
020 8539 1731