Moio: the homely restaurant with exciting flavours
If you haven’t ventured into Moio yet you really should. It combines the warmth of a neighbourhood restaurant with the talents of a top chef and sommelier.
The Stoke Newington High Street restaurant (which overlooks Church Street) serves modern European food and it’s getting rave reviews. It’s the latest business to join the Local Buyers Club, offering a 10% discount to members. (Info here)
Moio is run by chef João Ferreira Pinto and sommelier Carolina W Seibel, who used to work together at Michelin starred Portland.
The Local Buyers Club has been speaking to diners about this new kid on the block. They describe a welcoming relaxed atmosphere, a fusion of European flavours and a fun approach to wine that encourages trying something new.
Carolina, 36, explained the concept: “Typically people order snacks, starters and mains to share. Our menu is quite small so, if you come in a group of four, you’ll be able to pretty much sample the whole menu.
“When it comes to what wines to choose, it’s supposed to be fun. Sometimes people say they don’t know loads of the wines on our menu – but we just want them to sit down, relax and enjoy a new experience. I’m working mainly with the same wine suppliers we used at Portland – they know what I like and what I’m looking for.”
Carolina grew up in Germany and Sweden – her parents ran hotels and restaurants and, knowing how hard the industry is, tried to steer her career in a different direction. She worked for a short time as a kindergarten teacher, but she’d always had a natural affinity for wine and hospitality and, in 2009, started training as a sommelier.
João, 29, used to play rugby at a high level. He went on to train as a chef with Cordon Bleu, went on to work for Frenchie in Paris and to help set up their restaurant in Covent Garden. His dishes are inspired by his grandmother’s cooking.
Carolina added: “We connected straight away when working together and had always joked about opening something. When I left last year opening my own restaurant became a dream – João left soon after and before we knew it we’d found this building and invested our savings. We loved it instantly – it’s a brilliant location – I grew up in a village and Stoke Newington feels so similar.
“Running our own business has been harder than we expected but we believe in what we’re doing and are very determined. We want to be that everyday restaurant – with a relaxed atmosphere where people can enjoy themselves and be themselves; a place where people come when they don’t fancy cooking.”
Moio opened on January 10. The interior is rustic, with exposed bricks, industrial lightbulbs, wooden tables and Lisbon tiles. The menu is seasonal and changes regularly, but typical dishes include Lamb tartare with oyster and Margherita onion puree, Seafood barley with spicy bisque and seaweed and Slow cooked short rib with charred aubergine puree and wattle seed jus.
There’s also a brilliant weekend brunch menu offering plenty of egg and avocado dishes with hollandaise and homemade harissa as well as more unusual offerings such as Poke cone with mango, avocado and salmon.
As well as an exciting wine list, Moio has lagers and real ales from local brewers Deviant and Dandy on tap.
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