Lady at Moreno

The London Restaurant Festival is in full swing. Restaurants across the city are celebrating in various ways, from offering special deals to serving inventive meals. But so far my favorite part of the festival has been unrelated to it: the opportunity to eat at the newest dining establishment in London, Moreno restaurant at the Baglioni hotel in Kensington.

Sushi at Moreno restaurant in London

Moreno, which is run by two-Michelin starred Italian chef Moreno Cedroni, opened last Wednesday. I was invited to dinner there on Thursday to sample his famous cuisine in the brand new restaurant on Hyde Park.

Menu at Moreno restaurant in London

Upon entering, I was greeted by the same people I met when I went for cocktails at the hotel’s Brunello Lounge a few months back, and shown to a table in the intimate dining room.

Moreno restaurant in London

When my party was seated, we were brought menus and glasses of Bellavista Franciacorta sparkling wine. As we sipped, we looked over the starters, mains, pasta courses, and desserts. Each one had a number next to it, which we later learned corresponded to the year Moreno created the dish.

Menu at Moreno restaurant in London

After we made our choices, we enjoyed an amuse bouche of a creamy, if a bit dense, Parmesan mousse with Parmesan chips. A bread basket full of beautiful Italian focaccia and other selections was also furnished along with some light, fruity Bonamini “Passioni di Verona” olive oil.

Bread basket

Soon after that our three starters arrived: the chef’s famous “sushi and susci”, tempura scallops with black cuttlefish ink served with clam and zucchini sauce, and Albacore tuna tataki with quinoa salad and a light broth of Campari and pink pepper.

Tuna tataki at Moreno

The sushi platter, which consisted of eight Italian-inspired pieces of sushi, was chef Moreno’s signature dish. From rock clams to scallops to tuna, each piece was served in a different way with accompanying elements that brought out the best in the main ingredient. The result was a beautiful, delicate mix of complimentary flavors and textures.

Sushi and susci at Moreno

The other two starters were top-notch as well. The tuna tataki featured both fresh fish and a nice hint of spice from the pepper. The scallops were also inventive, wrapped in rich black squid-ink parcels.

Amuse bouche at Moreno

For our mains we went with fish and pasta, as Moreno’s specialties lie on the seafood spectrum. I chose a warm sea bass carpaccio with lime mashed potatoes and rocket sauce. The medley of flavors melted in my mouth, and the portion size was just enough to leave me wanting dessert.

Carpaccio at Moreno

And it’s a good thing, too, because there were two. Well, sort of. The palate cleanser of Nutella and ginger ice cream was the perfect precursor to a dessert I had my eye on: the Funny. Yes, there was a dessert called the Funny. Want to know what it was?

Nutella and ginger ice cream at Moreno

I’ll tell you. It’s a fragrance by Moschino. It’s also violet ice cream, spiced crumble, and Bergamot flower water. I was a bit hesitant to try it after the server told me that women love it, as that kind of dessert tends to be too sweet for my liking.

Funny dessert at Moreno

But I went with it anyway. It did turn out to be sweeter than I would have preferred, but I appreciated the foodie take on the fragrance. The dish was both aromatic and intensely flavorful, and there was a nice blend of textures in the smooth ice cream and crunchy crumble.

Chocolate map of Italy at Moreno

At the end of the meal we had an extra treat, which came in the form of a tiny map of Italy with chocolates corresponding to three regions: Piedmont (traditional), Campania (basil), and Sicily (pistachio). Educationally delicious, it was just on the right side of gimmicky.

Chef Moreno Cedroni

In another special surprise, chef Moreno himself came to the table to welcome us to his new restaurant. As we congratulated him on the food and service, he modestly quipped that it was only his “second day of school”. If everything was running that smoothly on day two, I can only imagine that the restaurant will be a quick success.

And that’s not all. For the soft opening, Moreno restaurant is offering a deal of three courses for £25. Beat that, London Restaurant Festival.

8 Comments on Lady at Moreno

  1. agraciouslife
    October 9, 2012 at 1:01 pm (2 years ago)

    Everything looks so delicious. Kudos to the chef. I just might be able to visit London next year. Sigh.

    Reply
    • aladyinlondon
      October 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm (2 years ago)

      That’s great! You should try the restaurant if you visit.

      Reply
  2. Meg from LandingStanding
    October 10, 2012 at 5:41 am (2 years ago)

    We love city food festivals-We just attended one in Thailand and we love the one they hold in Boston each year. Your description of Moreno sounds delicious!

    Reply
    • aladyinlondon
      October 10, 2012 at 7:09 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Meg!

      Reply
  3. Neetu Agarwal
    October 10, 2012 at 8:14 am (2 years ago)

    Everything looks so delicious. Feeling hungry by looking at the
    pics, such an amazing food

    Reply
    • aladyinlondon
      October 10, 2012 at 6:19 pm (2 years ago)

      Yeah, it was really good!

      Reply
  4. rosie
    October 23, 2012 at 9:09 pm (2 years ago)

    The food you write about is amazingly beautiful. Is this a London trademark?

    Reply
    • aladyinlondon
      October 24, 2012 at 7:33 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Rosie. I haven’t heard of London being unique for its presentation of food, but the city’s restaurants definitely do it well!

      Reply

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