pig pork brain soupWritten by WILL MARTIN

Every culinary town should have a Slovakian restaurant – an unusual-yet-delicious departure from the French, Spanish or Italian staples we are so accustomed to eating. Moya was set up from the combined vision of two chefs, Richard and Ivona – Richard from the West of England, Ivona from the East of Slovakia.

Ivona wanted to recreate ‘just what my mother cooks’, and accordingly, Moya’s menu is a mix of Slovakian heft and British whimsy that helps tames big, bold dishes. Everything is very straightforward and relaxed – ‘a Slovak thing’ we are assured by a friendly waiter, who helps explain the menu to us.

Usually, Slovaks would order a Kapustnica to start – a hearty soup of smoked pork shank, smoked sausage, sauerkraut, root vegetables, pearl barley, potatoes and wild mushrooms; served with bread to warm the inner workings from the sharp, Bratislavan cold. Simple, really, but then things get more complex. The menu offers so much choice, and once more we whisk the waiters to our table to explain the intriguing and satisfying blends of Slovakia and Britain. ‘Devil’s toast’ is a classic example of this fusion, with home-grown Oxford sourdough bread with smoked sausage, onions, tomatoes, peppers, fresh chillies and grilled goat’s milk cheese.

For mains, try Rezen, a tender pork loin steak in seasoned breadcrumbs, with Slovak potato and mixed green salad. Or, Bean goulash, served with Slovak large purple beans, cannellini beans and mixed vegetables in a rich tomato and pepper sauce, served with buttered baby dumplings. Moya offers some welcome heart-warming simplicity with a pronounced Slovakian accent.

97 St Clement’s St, Oxford OX4 1AR | 01865 200111 | | FB: Moya

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