SEARCH:  
Twitter Facebook RSS Feed
No Sacred Cows  
Toby Young
Friday 12th November 2004

Morgan M


When I first heard that Morgan M is situated at the wrong end of the Liverpool Road my heart fell. I imagined it must be one of those ultra-trendy places, like Bistrotheque, that's deliberately located in a run-down part of town as a counter-marketing exercise. Oh no, I thought. I'm going to have to fight my way through a horde of crack addicts in order to gain access to some former sweatshop that reeks of urine.

You can imagine my surprise, then, when I stepped into a pleasantly decorated, somewhat modest French bistro. There wasn't a Hoxton fin in sight. On the contrary, the other customers were members of the Islington bourgeoisie--middle-aged, middle-class types with a faintly literary air about them. Rather than being a trendy restaurant in an unfashionable part of town, it's a posh restaurant in the middle of an urban wasteland. Clearly, the reason it's located in the wrong part of Islington is because property's a lot cheaper here than in Barnsbury Village.

Morgan M is named after its chef, Morgan Meunier, who used to be the head chef at Admiralty and, before that, helped Alex Bentley win his Michelin Star at Monsieur Max in Twickenham. He clearly has ambitions in that direction himself, a fact signaled by the presence of two bookshelves loaded down with Michelin Red Guides. I couldn't help thinking there was something rather endearingly unworldly about that. Surely, when the Michelin inspectors come visiting--and they may have been in already--they're going to take one look at those and say, "Non!" It's the equivalent of ringing up the editor and begging to be given a star.

Still, if the lunch I had is anything to go by, Monsieur Meunier clearly deserves this accolade. Unfortunately, my wife wouldn't let me sample the five-course Autumn tasting menu, though it looked awfully tempting, on the grounds that I'm supposed to be losing weight, not putting it on. This, in spite of the fact that there was a vegetarian tasting menu right alongside it and my wife is a veggie. We settled, instead, for the a la carte menu and, after three courses and two amuse bouche, I was quite happy I hadn't gone for the more expensive option.

I started with a foie gras pole on toasted brioche, while Caroline had cream of pumpkin soup, and, for our mains, I opted for pot-roasted venison with hare ravioli and Caroline had ricotta and spinach cannelloni. Everything was absolutely excellent. Caroline particularly appreciated the fact that the cannelloni wasn't too heavy, leaving her with enough room for a baked blueberry tart. I was rather stuffed, by contrast, but I shoveled down an apricot soufflé anyway. That turned out to be the highlight of an altogether exquisite meal.

As I untucked my napkin from my chin, I told Caroline I thought the food was so good that Morgan Meunier should be known as the Tom Aikens of North London. "In that case," she said, motioning towards my jacket pocket, "you better put the spoon back." (Tom Aikens recently hit the headlines when he accused one of his customers of stealing a spoon.) She was joking--honest, guv--but, unbeknownst to either of us, the chef himself had materialized by our table and had overheard the whole conversation. Luckily, he was far too polite to tell me to turn out my pockets.

I asked him who had drawn the funny little African figures on the menu and he proudly announced they were all his own work. Another cost-saving measure, perhaps? No matter. Morgan Meunier is a man who clearly deserves his own restaurant and, if he had to cut costs to make that happen, more power to his elbow. Once he's taken those Red Guides down and been awarded his Michelin star, I've no doubt he'll be able to relocate to Knightsbridge. In the meantime, the good burghers of Islington don't know how lucky they are. If there was a restaurant as good as this in Shepherd's Bush I'd be there every night.

[ FIXED LINK ] Bookmark and Share





Twitter RT @JoJohnsonUK: It's time to debunk the myth surrounding two-year degrees link  (6 hours ago)

BEST OF THE WEB

The Warlock Hunt by Claire Berlinski - the-american-interest.com
Is classical liberalism conservative? by Yarom Hazony - jerusalemletters.com
The Implosion of Western Liberalism by Patrick Lee Miller - quillette.com
The Eton of the East End - Daily Mail
The reactionary temptation by Andrew Sullivan - nymag.com
The book that scandalised New York intellectuals by Louis Menand - newyorker.com
To understand Britain today, look to the 17th Century by Adrian Wooldridge - economist.com
The crisis in France by Christopher Caldwell - city-journal.org
A Visit to Michaela School by Patrick Alexander - prospectmagazine.co.uk
Why parenting may not matter by Brian Boutwell - quillette.com
Trump Establishment's Cultural Significance Explained by Michael Wolff - newsweek.com
Branching histories of the 2016 referendum by Dominic Cummings - dominiccummings.wordpress.com
Putin's Real Long Game by Molly K McKew - politico.com
The Flight 93 Election by Publius Decius Mus - claremont.org
How the education gap is tearing politics apart by David Runciman - theguardian.com
What's wrong with identity politics by Graeme Archer - conservativehome.com
Grammars and the grain of truth by Jonathan Porter
Anti-Brexit: Britain's new class war by John O'Sullivan - nationalreview.com
The English Revolt by Robert Tombs - newstatesman.com
Democracies end when they are too democratic by Andrew Sullivan - nymag.com
Human beings really are making progress by Steven Pinker - edge.org
What ISIS really wants by Graeme Wood - theatlantic.com
A society ripe for Submission by Douglas Murray - quadrant.org.au
Beware the soft Stalinists of the campus by David Aaronovitch - thetimes.co.uk
Why I'm a Conservative Teacher by Jonathan Porter - conservativeteachers.com
Corbyn's Inconvenient Truth – He wanted the IRA to win - youtu.be
Corbyn's first seven days - theguardian.com
Corbin's cabinet chaos by Darren McCaffrey - news.sky.com
Why I've become Tory scum by Tony Parsons - gq-magazine.co.uk
Inside Westminster's free school - telegraph.co.uk
Jeremy Corbyn's politics are a fantasy – just like Alice in Wonderland by Tony Blair - theguardian.com
Robert Conquest obit - telegraph.co.uk
Jeremy Corbyn is not an anti-Semite – it's so much worse than that - news.stv.tv
In defence of free schools by Toby Young - standpointmag.co.uk
 

BLOGROLL

Andrew Lilico
Andrew Neil
Andrew Sullivan
Arts and Letters Daily
Bagehot's Notebook
BBC News
BBC Sport
Benedict Brogan
Brendan O'Neill
Bruce Anderson
Coffee House
Conservative Home
Damian McBride
Damian Thompson
Dan Hodges
Daniel Hannon
Ed West
Frank Furedi
Guido Fawkes
Harry Phibbs
Iain Dale
Iain Martin
James Delingpole
James Wolcott
Joe Murphy
John Rentoul
Labour List
Mark Steyn
Matt Drudge
Mehdi Hasan
Melanie Phillips
Michael Wolff
Nick Cohen
Nick Robinson
Nikki Finke
Normblog
Paul Waugh
Peter Hitchens
Political Betting
Right Minds
Rob Long
Rod Liddle
Slate
Sophy Ridge
Stephen Pollard
The Arts Desk
The Corner
The Daily Beast
The First Post
The Omnivore
The Onion
Tim Shipman
Tim Stanley
Tom Shone
 

COLUMNISTS

AA Gill
Aidan Hartley
Allison Pearson
Allister Heath
AO Scott
Boris Johnson
Charles Moore
Cosmo Landesman
Daniel Finkelstein
David Brooks
Fraser Nelson
George Monbiot
Giles Coren
Henry Winter
James Delingpole
Jan Moir
Janan Ganesh
Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Warner
Jim White
Jonathan Freedland
Lloyd Evans
Manohla Dargis
Martin Samuel
Mary Ann Sieghart
Matthew d'Ancona
Matthew Norman
Maureen Dowd
Michiko Kakutani
Owen Jones
Patrick O'Flynn
Paul Krugman
Peter Bradshaw
Peter Oborne
Philip Collins
Polly Toynbee
Quentin Letts
Rachel Johnson
Rod Liddle
Roy Greenslade
Tim Montgomerie
Trevor Kavanagh
 
UK Book Cover

  • Buy the book on Amazon.co.uk

  • Buy the book on Amazon.com


  • UK Book Cover

  • Buy the book on Amazon.co.uk

  • Buy the book on Amazon.com


  • Audio Book Cover

  • Buy the audio book from
    Whole Story Audio
  • DVD Cover

  • Buy the DVD from Amazon.co.uk

  • Buy the DVD from Amazon.com


  • IMdb Page on the film