Marine Ices – Camden Town/Chalk Farm

Reviewed on August 22nd, 2014 by Dina

For all you gelato enthusiasts, such as ourselves, it is a relief to know that the institution that is Marine Ices is not closing down. Instead it is moving to a new location, just down the road, with the shop front marked by the beautiful wisteria tree!

The new branch of Marine Ices is concentrating on what it does best: gelato, sorbets, sundaes, milkshakes, sauces and toppings! Coming to Marine Ices makes you feel like a kid in a sweet shop! The range of ice cream flavours displayed in the front counter makes you spoilt for choice. So much so that the only solution that worked for myself is by letting the staff choose.

Marine Ices CounterMarine Ices DisplayMarine Ices Counter 2Marine IcesMarine Ices InteriorMarine Ices Cones and Tubs

Creamy gelatos and fruity sorbets make a good combination. It is difficult to choose a favourite but there a few that do stand out. Dark Chocolate with Pieces is not too rich and has the right level of sweetness. The Mint Choc Chip gives that intense hit of fresh mint. The simple Coffee and Strawberry flavours are done perfectly. These are just a snapshot of what Marine Ices has to offer and from past experience, other flavours that have been had have always impressed.

As for sorbets, the ones that stand out are the Mango and the Raspberry. The Raspberry is not too sour or tart and come to think of it, it would go well with the Dark Chocolate gelato. The Mango is delicious and the reason for this is that the king of mangoes, the Alphonso, is used to make it!

Marine Ices is proud to source local ingredients and to support other local businesses. Hence, the coffee that they serve is from Black Sheep from Camden High Street.

Something that has made me look forward to return to Marine Ices (not that I need an excuse) is to try the cakes and cookies. These are supplied from the artisan bakery Galeta. The one that I am looking forward to trying is the fruit Pastel de Nata; the Portuguese egg custard tart.

Friendly staff at Marine Ices greet you and allow you the time to choose your order. They are happy to make flavour suggestions and combinations too. It is refreshing to know that hygiene is top of the list with Marine Ices. All of their products, including the cakes and cookies will be displayed covered in transparent containers.

Marine Ices has some seating area at the back of the cafe or you can have your gelato delights to take away. In our eyes, we are happy that Marine Ices is staying in Camden to serve its customers with its sweet treats. It has been around for 83 years and let’s hope that it continues for many more!

To end the post, in Fabiano’s (the manager) own words:

“All our gelati and sorbets are made to the original recipes that Gaetano Mansi brought with him from Italy as a young man. Those same recipes that have been passed down through the generations, we don’t let any artificial ingredients near them. Everything is completely natural and free from any animal products ensuring that all our produce today have a mouth wateringly authentic flavour”.

Marine Ices, Old Dairy Farm, 61A Chalk Farm Road, Camden, London, NW1 8AN

Rating: ★★★★★

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Taste of Siam – Camden

Reviewed on November 6th, 2013 by Dina

It had been a while since my friend and I had been out for Thai food and we were kind of missing it. So we took it for a sign when we were supposed to go out for Greek food and the restaurant could not take us as they were fully booked for a private party.

Taste of Siam has three parts: one is the supermarket, second is the restaurant and the third is the noodle bar cafe. We were pleased that we chose the lovely restaurant. It seemed like a nicer setting than the informal cafe.  The food is cooked fresh and the quality of ingredients is high. As my friend pointed out, we should have expected this, seen as Taste of Siam’s shop next door has good produce.

Taste of Siam Tom Yum Hed SoupTaste of Siam Jasmine TeaTaste of Siam Tom Yum Kung SoupTaste of Siam Kang Ped Jay Green CurryTaste of Siam InteriorTaste of Siam Prawn Green Curry

It felt like a cold day and after my friend said that she was having a soup starter, I also decided to go for a warming soup! It is not very often that I have Thai soup but everytime I have it, it is always so tasty.

The Tom Yum Hed was a hot and sour mushroom soup. Lots of mushrooms bobbing in the hot flavoursome broth and garnished with coriander. The Tom Yum Kung soup was equally satisfying. This was a spicy prawn soup with lemongrass, chilli and vegetables.

A comforting curry and rice was chosen for the main meal. The menu doesn’t specify what type of curry the vegetarian Kang Ped Jay is. The staff told us that they can make it as a red or green curry.

Crispy tofu, cauliflower, broccoli, baby corn, mange tout and carrots in a creamy coconut sauce made up the curry. It was delicious and very moreish. All of the dishes had a lot of garnish including lime leaves, lemon grass, ginger and coriander. This really gave them the fresh flavour.

All of the food was made mild just as requested. To drink, Taste of Siam has an extensive menu including a whole range of fresh juices. But for me, it had to be Jasmine Tea. This was served by the pot.

Taste of Siam is a fantastic Thai restaurant, even though its dining area is slightly small. The staff were really lovely, polite and friendly. The restaurant was busy all through the evening and also a lot of people were coming in to have orders to take home.

Taste of Siam, 41-47 Camden High Street, London, NW1 7JH

Rating: ★★★★½

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The Cuban – Camden Town

Reviewed on August 12th, 2011 by Dina

For a lively Friday night out with the combination of tasty food and some dancing, The Cuban will not disappoint! The Cuban has the hip location of being in The Stables part of Camden Market.

The ground floor is the big bar area with some seating as well. It took us a short while to figure out how to get to the restaurant part of The Cuban. We spotted a small elevator with a sign above it with an arrow pointing to the restaurant.

The restaurant on the upper level had the music turned down a notch which was to our liking! We didn’t fancy having to have to raise our voices through our meal, especially seen as we would be chatting all evening!

Even though we were half an hour early for our reservation, we were given a table straightaway! There were wicker chairs, wooden tables and wooden screens sectioned off some of the areas. The staff were really friendly and were attentive.

Tapas was what we had in mind for this evening and the menu had a good range to choose from. The food at The Cuban seemed to have flavours from a few different countries. It was also a fusion of Cuban and Caribbean cuisine.

The tapas dishes were presented to us on two long wooden trays! This was quite different in comparison to the normal little clay dishes that I have had at other Tapas places! It was a good idea though to have these wooden platters, otherwise I think that we would have been struggling for space on our table!

It was such a colourful selection of food and it all looked very tempting! Nothing disappointed us; it all tasted great and worked well with the additional dips! The nachos were in a separate bowl and were generously topped with cheese, guacamole, salsa and jalapeno peppers.

The grilled flatbreads with hummous was a good way to start! Then onto the quesadillas filled with chicken and cheese! The highlight for me were the lollipop chicken wings! These were the ideal finger food! The chicken wings had a subtle coconut flavour coming through! The breaded chicken strips were also very tender and tasty!

If that wasn’t all filling enough, we still managed to have the grilled portobello mushroom topped with halloumi cheese, patatas bravas and chorizo! There was definitely a lot of food and it was a great selection!

As for drinks, I chose the peppermint tea which was served by the cup. The waitress wasn’t sure which tea they had, so she made the effort to go and bring me the selection that they had!

It was easy to spend a lot of time at The Cuban and as we were finishing our meal, the music started to get louder! We hadn’t realised that it was fairly late into the night as the hours had passed by real fast!

As the elevator doors opened on our departure, we were transformed into a Cuban dance place with a good vibe! This time round, we were done in for the night but I’m sure we’ll return on another occasion to dance the night away!

The Cuban, The Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, London, NW1 8AH

Rating: ★★★★★

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