Momo, the Berber restaurant on Heddon Street Mayfair, is 22 years old and has been overhauled and relaunched to mark the special occasion. The decor has been refreshed and has largely the same Marrakesh/enchanted souk feeling to the restaurant. Upon first look, you’ll spot a beautiful hand-painted dome, Art Deco sofas, illuminated palm trees both real and copper making you feel like you’ve been transported to Morocco… or so we wish!
With the man behind Sketch, Mourad Mazouz, still at the helm it seems that the restaurant has weathered a storm: from starting off as one of the hottest celeb haunts of London to being revitalised and now catering for the West End crowd of shopping tourists with money, birthday parties and instagram models.
The staff were accommodating, charming and attentive. They seated us outside on a beautiful wicker bench facing Heddon Street to watch the ambling trickle of afternoon shoppers through the screen of green foliage. Mismatched tiled tables and grand wicker throne chairs and benches set the scene although I think the chairs could do with a little TLC as they seem well used. We drank Champagne, as well as choosing lemongrass and ginger from a wide ranging tea menu. It arrived in a collection of mismatched cups, saucers and teapots as if Momo was a person and had been collecting for years and hosting us, which was rather sweet.
The menu is classical in terms of what you’d expect from afternoon tea, however each item has a Moroccan twist to it. Starting with the savoury there was a halloumi cherry tomato wrap which tasted a little like mozzarella so it lost the Moroccan influence and, I felt, tasted a bit more Italian. A tuna mini burger was one of my favourite fillings, an olive tuna mayo with olives and a pleasant spice but unfortunately the bread wasn’t soft and fresh. I love a cucumber sandwich and this promised labneh (a Middle Eastern soft goats cheese) and mint which is quite exciting. I thought it needed a bit of lemon and a bit more mint, however. The lemon grill chicken finger sandwich was delectable and our favourite by a mile, we wanted more of it! The pomegranate seeds balanced on top provided the perfect sharp/sweet punctuation, all hail the pomegranate!
There was possibly the perfect amount of food on the tea stand. Following the savoury finger sandwiches was a chilli chocolate cake of sorts which looked a bit like a chocolate mini burger filled with a chocolate cream – delicious, I’m a bit of a chocoholic so that was always going to go down well. There was also a cherry cake, lemon tart with meringue and a strawberry and rosewater pana cotta of some sort that was surprisingly delicious and not bath watery as rosewater threatens to be.
Afternoon cream tea is and always has been an incredibly decadent and indulgent occasion and this was no exception, I’m glad I didn’t have lunch or dinner plans as I wouldn’t have managed otherwise! Momo scones are flavoured with harissa which I loved and each of the jams also have a Moroccan spice element to them. So good I took home a leftover scone as we couldn’t finish everything!
A peaceful pocket of charming stillness amongst the madness of central London shopping, I’d definitely return to Momo!
Momo can be found at 23 – 25 Heddon Street, Mayfair, W1B 4BH, www.momo.london
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