Address: 40-42 Middlesex Street, E1 7EX
Cuisine Type: Argentinian
On a gloomy street in the heart of the city lies the colourful and vibrant Moo Grill. Without having the Gherkin in clear sight, it felt like I was elsewhere – not a city hotspot. As I enter the establishment I have a feeling that I am going to have a good time. A bunch of city workers are propped up at the bar and the loud, enthusiastic staff welcome me with open arms, as if I am a local.
I sit and study the menu. It is designed so that people can have their meals speedily at lunchtime. As I try and decide, I go for a snack; the empanadas (£1.95-2.05). Even though my husband and I are both on diets, we have all three flavours; beef, ham and cheese and sweetcorn. Normally anything that is pastry based I find utterly repellent, but I have been told that these are the things to try, so I begrudgingly take a bite. I am shocked: shocked that these little pastry parcels are so good. Instead of being a dense flaky pastry, they are soft chewy and interesting. I immediately take claim to the beef empanada and its contents. A sweet, spicy and juicy pocket of goodness, perhaps I have been wrong about pastry all this time?
Thinking about mains, although the Lomitos, a type of sandwich in Argentina, are very appealing, two chunks of carbs is probably not the best idea so I sensibly gravitate towards a big fat juicy steak, whereas my health conscious husband goes for a Minutas dish, the Pollo Provenzal (£7.95). I justify my choice with an addition of a slimming salad, whereas his chicken comes with calorie busting fries. Small victories in our diet wars. I ask for it rare and it comes pleasingly as such. Its beautiful beaming red centre is wondrous to witness and makes my meal more enjoyable. The chicken with guacamole is not a show stealer, but is still a great dish nonetheless.
We both feel smug that we have resisted the tubby items on the menu and are ready to leave, but we are swayed by promise of flan (£2.95) and a dessert like cocktail; Sweet Moo (£9). We tremble and reach for our spoons. The wibbly wobbly flan approaches our table with Its silky, seductive caramel sauce. The flavours dance around my mouth and swigging the Sweet Moo, which is a dessert in itself, my dining experience has reached new heights.
On a sugar high and jabbering nonsense to each other, we leave before we embarrass ourselves. The concept of Moo Grill is a great one. Concentrating on quick, fresh meals and catering for the rushed city worker, but once 6pm hits Moo Grill turns into a vibrant party venue again suited for the city boys and girls. With killer cocktails and desserts, this venue will go down a treat in this area.