Philippe Agnello at Momo, W1 London

Pigeon Pastilla and more at Momo, London:

I’m just a girl who CAN’T say no.  At least when there’s the opportunity to visit one of the restaurants that has been on my bucket list for a year or so, to meet the chef, Philippe Agnello, and to see him prepare and cook one of his signature dishes.  Sometimes though I really need a little more self control.  I’m in the middle of trying to move house and every spare evening SHOULD be viewing property rather than indulging in cocktails and wonderful North African food.

Momo London W1 Entrance

I have no regrets.  For a start, I ventured into the charming and idiosyncratic Momo and enjoyed a signature cocktail while I went round trying to take photos that reflected the house style.

momo london W1 shady characters

It is visually stunning, with table settings and light fittings that create a sensuous and romantic space.  You could be in Marrakesh…it’s certainly very easy to forget that you are in the centre of London.

momo sexy light fittings

And, then I got to meet Philippe Agnello and learn a little about the inspiration behind his cooking.  He told us that, as a classically trained French chef, he was seduced by the flavours of North Africa when he visited and stayed with a friend on a protracted visit there.

Philippe Agnello at Momo

In fact. he’s a much happier, smilier chef when he’s busy demonstrating how he cooks.  For us, it was Pigeon Pastilla – plump little game birds that ended up providing a fragrant, spiced filling for pastry shells

momo, london W1, pigeon for the pastillaI might just post the recipe – the result was a sublimely seasoned parcel of moist meat in an onion base.

Pastilla - baked and garnished

We went on to enjoy a feast of food from Philippe and his team.  Too many dishes to list…we started with some pretty bowls of spiced olives before moving on

Olives Momo London 2

to a seemingly endless selection of salads, dips and savoury pastries.  This is the sort of food to enjoy with friends, pausing every so often over a particularly spectacular flavour explosion, like these tiny stuffed aubergine

Stuffed Aubergine - Momo London

In my case, I particularly enjoyed the lamb shank

momo - lamb shank

And, the classic chicken tagine with preserved lemons

momo london Taginebut to be honest, I think I ate something of everything

And, really did enjoy the Pastilla

momo pigeon pastilla

After a seemingly endless stream of dishes we moved on to desserts.

momo london dessert

Even I was flagging by this stage.  I’m not sure I tasted either of these dishes.

momo london dessert 2Revived by glasses of fresh mint tea though, I happily indulged in sweets –

momo london sweets

And remember being particularly impressed to find a few pistachio macarons lurking on the tray.

Momo london MacaronWhat I believe makes the food at Momo so special is that Philippe has taken classic North African dishes and subtly improved them with the cooking techniques of modern French cuisine.  So, for example, the pigeon for the pastilla is browned in olive oil before being gently stewed, there are reductions and sauces worthy of any kitchen in France.  And, of course, the sweet tray has macaron – those quintessentially North African sweetmeats;)

This is somewhere for a special night out.  I’m now trying hard to think what that special night out could be – and to find an excuse to return.  My thanks to the management of Momo for the opportunity to meet with Philippe and to dine as their guest

Momo Restaurant
25, Heddon street
London W1B 4BH
Momo on Urbanspoon

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Comments

  1. Pamela Morse says:

    The visuals are delightful, indeed. There was a lot of food for one meal, and dessert is lavish like crazy. I am sure it was worth it.

  2. Wow, definitely on my restaurant hot-list now, too. Lovely flavours and a very interesting menu it seems. How lovely to get to go. x

  3. This looks like my kind of place Fiona – love North African food and with the twists given here, it sounds like it should not be missed.

  4. This has made me feel hungry and jealous in one! The pictures make the food look amazing which I have no doubt it was and the desserts look to die for! xx

  5. What an amazing opportunity! The pigeon pastilla looks immense! I’m in Morocco at the moment and the Chicken a Pastilla from my local bakery is to die for, it’s traditionally served at weddings in this country :)

    Gemma

  6. It’s been said before, want a great opportunity to attend an inspirational eatery.

  7. wow, that all looks delicious. And I really like the look of the restaurant itself

  8. Wow…. Looks lush. I must try this restaurant when next down in London, thanks for reviewing and telling us all about it :)

  9. Glad you didn’t turn down the invite for house hunting, sounds like an amazing night out of deliciousness. The sort of food I adore!

  10. Looks amazing, a real experience.

  11. I love North African cuisine (as you probably notice quite a lot of Algerian/Moroccan inspired dishes on my blog)! I probably have to create my bucket list of restaurants to visit and this will be one of them ;) Such a beautiful place, with lots of great food!

  12. What a beautiful looking restaurant. You go to all the best places Fiona :)

  13. The food looks really good and of course you should take time out for good food and drinks when you’re moving! Moving doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself of wonderful experiences. Or dinner.

  14. Good grief, that’s a LOT of food! Some of those dishes sounds particularly tempting, especially those baby aubergines. Oh, to have the knowledge of someone like Philippe.
    Janie x

  15. This is a restaurant on my bucket list. I need to get booking and go. It looks fabulous. GG

  16. Pamela Morse says:

    It all looks delightful..I love the look of the stuffed eggplant..and as always the desserts look so worth it.

  17. Dawn Henson says:

    This looks lovely. Food looks Mouthwatering.

  18. I am adding this to my list of places to visit :)

  19. Wow! I haven’t been to Momos in years! Good to know it is just as good now as it was then.

  20. I wouldn’t have been able to say no either! :-) All of the dishes look mouth watering! Mmmmmm! Thanks for sharing.

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