Morgan M, Smithfield

For very many years, on the very quiet Liverpool Rd in Highbury, lay a very discreet and quiet restaurant that never seemed to have people in it or for that matter, anyone writing anything about it. I used to always wonder about the restaurant and every now and then, look at the menu and remark how much I would like to go and try it out. Of course, I never did – and this was when I lived a 3 minute walk away from the restaurant which has now closed in Liverpool Rd and reopened in Smithfield. Of course, I’m talking about Morgan M. byMonsieur Morgan Meunier (the restaurant could have been called MMM for kicks!). Of course, ever time I walk by Smithfield market, all I can think of are gorgeous carcasses of beef and lamb hanging in refrigeration, maturing away nicely, or little piglets all lined up on display racks, boxes of haggis ready to be sent out, that distinct swish-clink of a butcher sharpening his knives…Well, on a less romantic note, there it was, Morgan M, I’d finally made it after all those years of deliberation and being its neighbour. Let’s find out…

Beetroot
Tuna
Red mullet
Mango rice

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Starting us off was a Beetroot sorbet, beetroot soup and fresh beetroot with horseradish cream. All of it intense, lovely, earthy, fruity and palatable – the horseradish cream could have done with a much more intensified zing to it.

My starter of Tuna Nicoise was simple and elegant – tuna and ollive tartare, aubergine puree, rocket, red pepper sorbet and grapefruit, although the plating design did look a little bit from chef school days. The pepper sorbet was my favourite!

Red mullet, braised octopus, fennel 3 ways: A very classic dish and it was quite refreshing to have something simple and elegant for once. There was fennel puree, crisp fennel and shaved fennel along with the braised octopus (which was very meaty and quite bolognaise-y) was perfect for the strong mullet.

Rice pudding with mango sorbet and puree: Lovely little pre-dessert. Can’t go wrong with this.

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Strawberries
Apricot

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English strawberries, meringue, lemon 3 ways:  looked great, didn’t really deliver on taste. The lemon curd had a rich way feel on the tongue, the lemon sorbet was great, though a little crystallised, the third lemon component was preserved lemon. The strawberries weren’t worthy of the name and the meringue was too sweet (and too much of it on the plate)

Apricot tart, rosemary and olive oil ice cream: Firstly, it wasn’t a tart – more of a cakey base with a very sour mushy apricot on top and a sour apricot coulis. The ice cream was more green than the taste it should have imparted and the tuile made me think of being at a childrens birthday party.

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All in all, the food and service were rather pleasant, a light take on classic French cuisine. The food did take forever to come though – all of it, even though there were only 3 tables in the restaurant.

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Food: 6

Recommend you go: 5

Website: 
Morgan M on Urbanspoon
Square Meal

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