So you’ve never been to…Mora, Leytonstone High Road

A brief guide to one of Leytonstone’s best dining rooms

Age: Ooh, getting on for four.

Where exactly is it? On the lower bit of Leytonstone High Road, an olive’s hurl from decent BYO Turkish grill Oven East.

OK. So what goes on there? Some pretty impressive Sardinian cooking from a couple of mates who moved to London over 20 years ago. In fact, this is low-key destination eating and, arguably – alongside the awesome Singburi – the best restaurant in E11.

What should I eat? Don’t miss the carasau, crisp Sardinian bread that’s far too easy to munch on with a negroni, for example. And of the antipasti, gooey burrata and cured meats aside, we’re rather partial to the pale smoked tuna carpaccio with pink peppercorn and dill. What makes it taste zingily fresh is the note of orange, too.

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But it’s all about pasta? Yes, it is really, although other mains (think venison stew, rib-eye or sea bream) and chalked-up specials are super tempting. But Mora virgins must first dive into a bowl of malloreddus, the classic Sardinian pasta that’s shaped like tiny potato gnocchi, which might come with a deeply savoury sausage ragu, saffron and pecorino; or the slithery joys of ribbons of pappardelle with an umami-laden wild boar ragu and parmesan. To name but two.

Pappardelle and malloreddus (right). Photo: SE

The interior: discuss. It’s a simple dining room with wooden tables and chairs, plus a counter at the window should you want to people-watch. In short, it’s all about the food here.

And what do I drink? There’s good Italian wine – we normally plump for house red at £20 – as well as another chalked-up specials board for cocktails of the week.

What’s the service like? On our last visit, a late Saturday lunchtime, we were – whoops – the last to leave, but it was friendly and relaxed.

Do say: ‘This is, quite simply, the best pasta in the neighbourhood.’

Don’t say: ‘Is there a set lunch menu?’

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Antipasti from £8, pasta from £11, mains from £15. Mora, 487 High Rd Leytonstone, Leytonstone, London E11 4PG open Thursdays to Sundays, more here
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