Bibigo – Angel

Reviewed on August 2nd, 2015 by Dina

Even after reviewing many eateries, it’s exciting to come across a cuisine that has not been tried before. Bibigo was my first experience of Korean food and it was perfect. It felt like a high end restaurant. The interior was clean and spacious with lots of wood decor and intricately carved wood panels. The bar was at the entrance with high stools. The chefs at work in the kitchen could be seen from the dining area.

There were many items on Bibigo’s menu which sounded interesting but the one that was settled for was the Hot Stone Bibimbap. A sizzling hot stone pot contained the colourful vegetables of mushrooms, sliced greens, kimchi and tofu. All of this was on top of a bed of fluffy rice. The spicy Kohot sauce and yellow sauce was given on the side. The Bibimbap tasted delicious. The combination of the seasonal vegetables with the sauces and rice went really well together.

The Kimchi Stew that my friend had was equally satisfying. The spicy stew was made of pork and tofu and came with rice. There seemed to be a slight confusion when more rice was asked for. The staff came and gave an empty bowl. So we weren’t sure if they were coming back to fill it with rice. After a short while, we asked again and this time a bowl that was full of rice was given.

The staff were all very professional and gave us good service. They were able to explain the items on the menu in detail when we asked about the dishes. The hot water and the regular water were given in small glasses. These had to be asked to be refilled throughout the meal. It may have been better to have been provided with a jug of water.

Bibigo is a truly lovely place to come to for healthy Korean food. It is nice that we will be returning to try the other items on the menu in the future.

Bibigo, 407 St John Street, London, EC1 4AB

Rating: ★★★★½

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Bombay Burrito – Angel

Reviewed on August 9th, 2014 by Dina

You know exactly what you are getting when you walk into Bombay Burrito. It is stated on the front door as ” fresh curry in a wrap”!  It actually took me back to my childhood days when we used to do family day trips and picnics in the park. The classic and tasty packed lunch that my parents would bring along for us would be potato curry with a stack of chapattis. These would be transformed into “beerus” which is basically a rolled chapatti filled with the curry!

In Bombay burrito, the counter menu board is divided into steps where you choose the meal, then the curry and finally the fillings and sauces. The great thing about Bombay Burrito is that they have made their curries healthy. They have replaced the heavy ghee and cream with yogurt and minimised their use of oil too.

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It had to be the Bombay Burrito and a mild Dhansak curry for me. The filling that was originally chosen was the grilled paneer. But then the temptation for the tandoori chicken was also there. The decision was made easy for me when the staff said that both fillings could be had in the one burrito. So it was a win win situation! All of the hot fillings of chana masala, grilled onions and pilau rice were packed into the burrito. These were then topped off with some raita and mango chutney together with lettuce, salsa and coriander.

The burrito was wrapped tightly in foil and given in a little red basket. There are poppadoms, chips and extra sauces available too. Bombay Burrito also offers tikkatacos which are mini sized burritos, salad bowls and curry bowls. On this occasion, no extras were had as I had the feeling that this one regular Bombay Burrito was going to be filling enough.

The burrito was absolutely delicious. The fresh flavours of the creamy Dhansak curry, sauces and all the other filling delights came together beautifully. Big cubes of grilled paneer, succulent tandoori chicken pieces and the chana masala were wonderful. It definitely was a satisfying “fresh curry in a wrap”!

To drink, the Fentimans Rose Lemonade was chosen. The pretty soft pink colour of this drink took my fancy. Unfortunately the taste was not to my liking. It had a slightly herbal and medicinal taste to it.

Bombay Burrito has red bar stool seating, tables and chairs and additional seating on the lower level. A quirky feature is that the chairs on the lower level are nicknamed after Bollywood actors. It was slightly chilly on the lower level.

The staff were friendly and gave lovely service with a smile. They also recommended which sauces and chutneys would work well in the burrito depending on the curry.

The good news is that Bombay Burrito is open till late on most evenings and has a late closing time on Friday and Saturday nights. This place is a great place to keep in mind if you are feeling peckish on the way home from a night out. Saying that, it is also a fabulous place for healthy delicious Indian burritos for the daytime too!

Bombay Burrito, 357 G0swell Road, Angel, London, EC1V 7JL

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.

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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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