Mourad Mazouz, the king of London nights

With his restaurants, bars and clubs (Momo, Sketch, Double Club…), Mourad Mazouz has left his unique mark on the London food and party scene. Here, the French-Algerian “restaurateur extraordinaire” offers us a glimpse of his personal world.

My main character trait: Curiosity, which makes me want to get up every morning. I believe this is one of the most beautiful qualities to have, as it means that you are interested in other people.

My main weakness: Laziness, even though I work very hard, and perfectionism. I find the latter awful because to want everything to be perfect means to live in a state of suffering, as one can’t achieve true perfection.

My main strength: Straightforwardness. I always see things through to the end, I always do what I say and I never let people down.

If I had to change one thing about my looks: I would be taller and a bit sturdier.

The quality I like most in a man: Honesty, which is a very rare quality.

The quality I like most in a woman: Subtlety and thoughtfulness.

What I like most in my friends: Loyalty.

The mistake I am most likely to forgive: I forgive all mistakes, because I believe that we all have a right to make them, as long as we don’t hurt others.

My favourite pastime: Watching television in bed.

My idea of happiness: Small pleasures and living from day to day. That said if I am still alive at 75, playing dominos in a sunny terrace with my mates, then I will be happy.

My greatest memories: Travelling. If I win the lottery, I will stop working and go travelling.

The worst thing that could happen to me (other than the death of a loved one): To lose the desire.

What I wanted to do when I was a kid: To live.

If I was an animal I would be: A tiger.

My favourite book: Le Petit Prince.

My favourite artist: There is always something I find touching in every artist but I don’t have a favourite.

My favourite actors: None.

My favourite film: L’Abécédaire de Gilles Deleuze on DVD, even though this is not a film strictly speaking.

My favourite songs: I don’t have any particular favourites, but I adore music, anything from electronic to traditional Indian music.

What I love the most in the world: People in general and my children and friends in particular. They keep going from one day to the next.

My favourite fictional heroes: None.

The people I admire most in real life: All those who might be considered by others as “nothing” but who are in fact extraordinary. I met those guys -Samir, Abdallah and Mohammed- in the middle of nowhere in Morocco last summer, who didn’t look like much, but who had travelled the world and were extremely talented musicians, with the most interesting stories, and I spent an unforgettable weekend with them.

My favourite first names: First names match the head of the people they are attached to, but are meaningless by themselves.

My most treasured possession: Nothing, I am not a collector. When I purchase something, for example a piece of art, it is usually as a gift.

My favourite place: I have lots, always linked to particular times of my life. But if I have to give one, I will say Grand Rivière in Trinidad: this place is so achingly beautiful, with its bay, river, forest, horses on the beach, tortoises, that I cried with happiness.

What I hate most of all: Meanness, malicious gossip, hypocrisy and cowardice, which all go together.

What makes me really angry: I can get very annoyed and openly angry by little things, but when it comes to important matters, I am more of the silent type.

My greatest achievement to date: If I have one, it is to have lots of friends. But the general idea of success doesn’t mean a lot to me.

My definition of love: Love itself, as a whole, doesn’t exist, there are only moments of it.

My definition of beauty: Everything that moves us.How I would like to die: In my bed.

How I would like people to remember me: I would prefer if people forget me.My present state of mind: I do what I can with what I have.

My motto: Just Do It.

Momo restaurant familial, tea room, bazaar and Kemia bar: 25 Heddon Street W1 (Oxford Circus)

Sketch: 9 conduit Street W1 (Oxford Circus)


Kemia Bar, Momo and Sketch