Cilicia – Muswell Hill

Reviewed on February 4th, 2016 by Dina

There are times when certain areas are visited regularly and then there are other times when it may even be months before the same area is ventured to. This was the case with Muswell Hill; it was a well known area for a long time but that was not recently.

Muswell Hill was picked for an evening meal with the family. Not being familiar with the many eateries that had cropped up and not wanting to go to a chain restaurant, it was then the moment to turn to a trusted friend for recommendations.

Cilicia was the place that came highly recommended and it certainly lived up to its standards. This lovely restaurant was decorated with the ornate lighting, wooden furniture and it was clean and spacious. The staff were friendly and gave us good service all throughout the meal. They helped with suggestions for the menu with regards to dietary requirements. Cilicia has a range of drinks including Mighty Leaf teas and Monbana milkshakes.

It’s always good to start off with a Hot Mezze with its selection of dishes. This was accompanied with some fresh bread and Cilicia Hummus which was topped with diced lamb. Feta and spinach pastries, grilled halloumi, falafel, spicy salami, calamari and lamb kofte were all delicious and it made for a great starter to share. The Hot Mezze, the creamy hummus and the bread filled our tummies but we still had the main meal to come.

The Cilician Musakka was a wonderful, hearty dish. It was made of Mediterranean vegetables that were layered with Cilician sauce, tomato sauce and mozzarella. It was not too heavy on the cheese front and so the flavours of the vegetables and the tomatoes came through. It was nice that it was served with a bowl of vermicelli rice.

Tender grilled meats of lamb cutlet, lamb cubes, chicken cubes and a Cilicia skewer made up the Mix Grill. The meats were all cooked to perfection and it was served with vegetables and rice. A seafood main dish was the Garlic Tiger Prawns. These were shelled prawns cooked in a tomato based sauce with vegetables and herbs.

All of the food was of such a high quality, freshly cooked to order and full of flavour. Cilicia is a great independent restaurant that should pride itself on producing such wonderful food and giving their diners a great dining experience.

Cilicia, 440 Muswell Hill Broadway, London, N10 1BS

Rating: ★★★★★

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Renoir – Kentish Town

Reviewed on September 28th, 2012 by Dina

Renoir offers fresh, tasty healthy food in Kentish Town. Even the counter area oozes freshness with its displays of bowls of colourful fruits, salads in the fridge and other deli items.

As it was lunchtime, I fancied something light. The Vegetable Omelette caught my eye and thought that this would be a good chance to get my protein intake for the day! It was supposed to come with chips but the waitress kindly let me change that to a baked potato.

The omelette was made with tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers and spinach. It was nice that it did not have cheese in it, so that the flavours of the vegetables were able to come through. The baked potato on the side was fluffy with a crispy jacket and it was just of the right size.

RenoirRenoir Vegetable OmeletteRenoir Interior

To accompany the meal, I had to try one of Renoir’s fresh juices and there are quite a few on the menu to choose from. The Flu Fighter was refreshing and was a concoction of orange, strawberry, lemon and pineapple.

Renoir has a lovely interior with cushioned seating opposite the counter. At the back of the cafe is another area with tables and cushioned chairs. The walls are decorated with artwork. There is also outdoor seating sectioned off with plants.

The staff were friendly and gave us good service. It was nice that we did not have to wait long to place our order or to get the bill at the end of the meal.

Renoir is a refreshing cafe and restaurant in the Kentish Town area. It is great all day dining, from the morning right through to the evening!

Renoir, 244 Kentish Town Road, Kentish Town, London, NW5 2AB

Rating: ★★★★★

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The Iskele – Old Street

Reviewed on September 20th, 2012 by Dina

As we had come to The Iskele late lunchtime, we were expecting it to be fairly quiet. But it was the opposite, the restaurant was pretty much packed and so it was a good thing that I had made a reservation.

The luscious colours, wall hangings and lanterns from the ceiling welcomes diners into The Iskele! The dining area is fairly big although some of the tables are quite close together. There are lots of ornaments decorating the walls and shelves around the restaurant. The Iskele also has quite a big outdoor dining area with wooden tables and chairs.

A hot and cold starter were chosen! The Falafel were crispy little patties made of chickpeas and had a good flavour to them. They were served on houmous with salad. The classic Houmous was a generous portion and we were given warm bread to go with it.

The Iskele FalafelThe IskeleThe Iskele HoumousThe Iskele InteriorThe Iskele Vegetarian MoussakaThe Iskele Interior 2The Iskele Stuffed ApricotsThe Iskele Mint TeaThe Iskele Tiramisu Savoiardi

Layers of potato, aubergine and courgette with a cheese sauce made up the main dish of Vegetarian Moussaka. It was topped with a lovely tomato sauce as well. The Moussaka was a really filling meal especially as it was served with some chips! It was delicious and quite a hearty meal, perfect for the cold day!

Somehow, there always seems to be some room for dessert, no matter how filling a meal is! Two great choices were the Stuffed Apricots and the Tiramisu Savoiardi. The apricots were filled with cream and were coated with chopped almonds and pistachios. If that wasn’t enough, they were drizzled with a chocolate sauce. A great combination all in all! The Tiramisu Savoiardi was light, creamy, fresh and had the wonderful coffee flavour going through it.

A mint tea was needed to end the meal! Fresh mint leaves infused the hot water, with a slice of lemon on the side.

The Iskele gave us efficient service with a smile. All of the food was of a good portion size and definitely a place to come to if you want to satisfy your appetite!

The Iskele, 179-181 Whitecross Street, London, EC1Y 8QP

Rating: ★★★★½

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