Review: Delicious small plates at popular Abbey Road haunt

Morso's Black Pepper Panna Cotta

Morso's Black Pepper Panna Cotta - Credit: André Langlois

A meal out in 2021 has become something to be cherished for good food and good company, and Morso, tucked away off Abbey Road, facilitates both.

The room is bright and friendly, eschewing formality for a welcoming charm.

Meaning “bite” in Italian, Morso favours a selection of small dishes over a mountain of spaghetti.

Being largely vegetarian, this suits me. Variety is a route to satisfaction.

The recommendation is two small dishes and a modest pasta main per person, and this left enough room for dessert, just about. 

Morso' Asparagi e Zucchine

Morso' Asparagi e Zucchine - Credit: André Langlois

The arancini was delicious and wholesome, while the asparagi e zucchine - a dish of asparagus, courgette, peas and ricotta - had some lovely fresh crunch.

As someone who habitually overcooks their pasta at home to the point of mash, my rigatoni al pesto reminded me of the value of "al dente", with a rich basil pesto.

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I may be a (struggling) vegetarian but I know well-cooked meat when I see it. 

Both the rump tagliata and the lamb scottadito were tantalising, and went down a storm with my dining companions.

Morso's Black Pepper Panna Cotta

Morso's Black Pepper Panna Cotta - Credit: André Langlois

So far, so good. The really exciting part of the meal for me, though, was my current obsession: panna cotta. Even the little potted supermarket versions are irresistible right now.

Morso's take on it is something different - black pepper panna cotta: fresh strawberries, sweet balsamic glaze, basil cress, amaretti crumbs.

Off-putting to some, and it certainly is an explosion of flavour, but it really works - and the pepper stays with you.

One of my companions had an equally positive response to the potted tiramisu, the restaurant's signature take on the classic Italian dessert, with dark chocolate crumbs and sweet Marsala wine.

It was reassuring to see a steady stream of couples and friends dropping into this friendly Italian gem.

Visit for the menu and bookings for Morso in Abbey Road or Kensal Rise.

Morso in St John's Wood

Morso in St John's Wood - Credit: André Langlois

Morso's Potted Tiramasu

Morso's Potted Tiramasu - Credit: Clara Heimerdinger

Arancini at Morso

Arancini at Morso - Credit: Clara Heimerdinger

Rump Tagliata at Morso

Rump Tagliata at Morso - Credit: Clara Heimerdinger

Rigatoni al Pesto at Morso

Rigatoni al Pesto at Morso - Credit: André Langlois