Archive for the 'Restaurants' Category

Miracolo – Kings Cross / Chancery Lane

Reviewed on May 15th, 2014 by Dina

Miracolo is no ordinary Italian restaurant. What makes it stand out is that it specialises in medieval food and most of its menu is based around this.

This restaurant is very welcoming and feels spacious and warm from the moment you first step in. There are big white sofas and tables in the entrance and then the dining area is adjacent to the drinks bar.

The striking decor is created by the contrast of the grey walls with the wonderful orange and reds on the canvas paintings. Later, I was told by the staff that all the artwork was from the collection done by the textural artist Gill Hickman.

The staff at Miracolo were so friendly and gave lovely efficient service all accompanied by happiness and smiles! When certain dietary requirements were mentioned, the staff checked it all with the chef and made sure that we were correctly informed. The staff really did make us feel that our custom was valued.

Miracolo Torre di Melanzane SaladMiracoloMiracolo Spinach and Ricotta RavioliMiracolo Lounge AreaMiracolo InteriorMiracolo Interior 2

The Miracolo menu is very refreshing and all the dishes certainly did impress not only in taste, flavours, quality but also in presentation. The menu has some vegetarian dishes including risotto, pasta, dips and a cabbage filled pie. But if you are feeling adventurous, then your choice can be between dishes which have rabbit, venison, wild boar, goat, pheasant, partridge, quail, salmon, tuna and duck pie!

The meal started with the Torre di Melanzane salad. A tower of warm grilled aubergine slices sandwiched between caramelised onions was presented on a criss-cross grid of balsamic vinegar. It was delicious with the pine nuts. The sweet onions complemented the treacle like balsamic vinegar and it worked well with the aubergine. The homemade bread that was served with it was very moreish and helped to balance out this starter dish.

A safe option was chosen for the main meal but it was still special. Big pillows of ravioli generously filled with ricotta and spinach topped with a black truffle sauce. This dish was stated on the menu as Circa mid XIV century! The black truffle sauce was very tasty. The only thing that I would change is that I would prefer less oil in this dish. Apart from that minor thing, the spinach and ricotta had so much flavour. It has to be one of the best ravioli dishes that I have had to date.

Instead of a soft drink, I was in the mood for a cup of tea. The Earl Grey tea was served in a small silver teapot with hot milk on the side. The staff did not mind giving us a refill of hot water too.

Miracolo is a truly wonderful Italian restaurant and it should be proud of all the dishes that it serves. The food is amazing and of such a high standard. The service is great. Dining at Miracolo was a real joy and it is good to have discovered such a fantastic friendly restaurant.

Miracolo, 73 Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross, London, WC1X 8TP

Rating: ★★★★★

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Gallipoli Again – Angel

Reviewed on April 28th, 2014 by Dina

Celebrations are important and it’s good to acknowledge achievements, no matter how big or small. After an intense and busy couple of months, that was exactly what our evening out at Gallipoli Again was. A time to relax, catch up and reflect on the successes of the past few months.

Gallipoli Again is part of the Gallipoli family of restaurants on Upper Street. Clusters of ornate lanterns hang from the ceiling creating a soft ambient atmosphere. Carved wooden shelves, walls lined with pictures and dark furniture sets the scene for the restaurant. There is definitely a lovely warmth about the place. The staff were really welcoming, friendly and gave us good service.

A feast for the evening was called for and nothing less was on our minds. The Gallipoli Mixed Mezze seemed to have a good selection of the dishes and it saved us from having to make the hard decision of which of the many starters to chose from.

Gallipoli Again Baba GhannugeGallipoli Again Mixed MezzeGallipoli Again SaladGallipoli Again InteriorGallipoli AgainGallipoli Again Interior 2Gallipoli Again Imam BayildiGallipoli Again Mint TeaGallipoli Again Spinach

The mixed platter had humus, borek, cacik, saksuka and salads of potato, black eyed beans, kisir and bakla. The freshness and flavours of the salads was great. My favourites were the aubergine Saksuka, Potato Salad and Black Eyed Beans. The Saksuka had soft strips of aubergine mixed with carrots and potatoes. The Potato Salad was slightly spiced and flavoured with parsley, herbs and lemon juice. The combination for the Kisir was crushed wheat, mint, tomato paste, spring onions and nuts. Broad beans with dill and garlic made up the Bakla.

For the dips, there was the classic Humus and also the yogurt Cacik. The coolness of the cucumber and mint contrasted the garlic in the Cacik.

The other main components of the Gallipoli Mixed Mezze were the deep fried Falafel and the Borek pastry. I always have a tendency to like the feta cheese and parsley Borek more than chickpea and broad bean Falafel. Olives and breads were also served with our vegetarian Mezze.

If that was not enough, we had to follow our temptation for the Baba Ghannuge. Although lighter than the Humus, this smoky aubergine puree was just as tasty. Something as humble as the aubergine was transformed to a delicious addictive dip to accompany the pitta bread.

The starters at Gallipoli Again sure were filling but we had already ordered our main dishes at the start of the meal. So after a while, we were ready to sample the main delights.

It seemed that it was an aubergine day for me. Imam Bayildi was aubergine filled with mushrooms and onions and topped with peppers. The tomato based sauce that it was served on was tasty. The main dish was delicious and it came with rice and salad.

Softly cooked spinach with potatoes, presented with yogurt and rice was the other main choice. The portions were of a big size but Gallipoli Again does not compromise its quality of food in any way.

After all the food, fresh mint tea was called for. A small silver teapot with a cute glass was how the refreshing tea was served.

Gallipoli Again really does do amazing cuisine and it made for a memorable celebratory evening. It would be interesting to see how the other two Gallipoli restaurants on the same road compare with this one. If they are anything like this one, then it would definitely be fantastic food.

Gallipoli Again, 120 Upper Street, Angel, London, N1 1QP

Rating: ★★★★★

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Salvador and Amanda – Bloomsbury

Reviewed on April 17th, 2014 by Dina

Salvador and Amanda is a Spanish restaurant focussing on tapas. It has more of a bar like informal environment. There are small booth sections on the raised levels. The little white washed alcoves have cushioned seating and small buffets. Even though the seating was supposed to feel quite relaxing, it was difficult to get comfortable.

Our tapas selection started off with some salted smooth Marcona almonds and grilled tomato bread. The artisan bread was toasted and topped with a paste of fresh flavoursome tomatoes.

The Spanish omelette was a classic choice and you can never go wrong with the potatoes teamed with the egg. It was crispy on the outside and not overcooked.

Salvador and AmandaSalvador and Amanda TapasSalvador and Amanda MenuSalvador and Amanda Black RiceSalvador and Amanda Tomato BreadSalvador and Amanda CodSalvador and Amanda InteriorSalvador and Amanda Spanish OmeletteSalvador and Amanda Interior2

The highlights of the meal were the two fish dishes. The garlic black rice was delicious with the squid and prawns. The rice was cooked so that it was not too soft. The pan fried cod with samphire was a fairly big portion. The cod was succulent and came dressed in a light sauce.

The staff were friendly although at times it was hard to get their attention. There were no complaints to be had at all about the food. It was served swiftly and it was all tasty.

Salvador and Amanda is open till the early hours, just in case you are looking for somewhere late at night. It can be spotted by the neon lit sign on the exterior.

Salvador and Amanda, 1 Vernon Place, Bloomsbury, London, WC1A 2EP

Rating: ★★★★☆

Salvador and Amanda Bloomsbury on UrbanspoonSquare Meal