Food review: Moio, Stoke Newington
PUBLISHED: 15:07 30 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:07 30 August 2019
© Jonathan Sharp
When Carolina W Seibel opened Moio on Stokey's High Street barely a few days in to 2019, she spoke warmly of the local neighbourhood.
"It's a tight-knit community and that's one of the reasons we chose here," she revealed, adding "we don't want to be some anonymous restaurant in an anonymous area." Having recently made our way to sample the delights of the Moio menu - with its intriguing mix of Portuguese and Swedish influences - we're confident that there's no danger of that.
Moio has a harmonious feel to it. A floor-to-ceiling window looks out upon the High Street, and there's exposed brickwork, copper pipes, wooden tables and azulejos (that's Portuguese ceramic tiles) patched together across the long-bar.
João Ferreira Pinto - the decorated chef formerly of Fitzrovia's Michelin-starred Portland restaurant - goes about his work in the open-plan kitchen, occasionally stepping out on to the floor to introduce his plates to customers first-hand.
Seibel and Pinto update the menu regularly, but upon our visit the Radicchio, smoked eel and pickled watermelon radish (£4.50), Algarve-flavoured carrots (£4) and bread from Dalston's Dusty Knuckle Bakery (£3.50) offered a colourful and interesting spread of flavours to start.
All of the plates at Moio are beautiful to look at - creatively presented and served on decorative plates, bowls, dishes and containers - especially the Cauliflower and buttermilk panna cotta with marinated scallop (£12) and the vibrant, fresh Heirloom tomato salad with gooseberries and cheese ice-cream (£11).
The Hazelnut cavatelli, green asparagus, perfectly poached egg (£14) was my favourite plate of the evening; a generous portion where you can dig in to the egg and let the golden yolk ooze into the pasta - which uses hazelnut flour - below. Pinto's spicy bisque (£16) is a delicious seafood alternative.
At this stage, the buttons on my jeans were under some serious pressure. But you can't leave Moio without trying their signature Queijinho de Azeitao (£6), a dainty, smooth pud inspired by the Setubal district of Portugal and topped with a sprinkling of 'forest berries snow.'
With friendly service, a steady buzz and a diverse mix of Scandinavia and flavours from the Med, Moio felt like a fun dinner party where you never knew quite what was coming to the table next.
Moio, 188 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7JD. Currently closed for a summer holiday, the restaurant re-opens on Wednesday, September 4. For more details, click here.