Jaz & Jul’s Chocolate House – Angel

Reviewed on February 21st, 2016 by Dina

Head right to the top of Chapel Market, past all the market traders and just when you think you have come to the end, there is Jaz & Jul’s Chocolate House. As it is called a Chocolate House, the expectation was there for it to have a rich sumptuous interior. The inside of this cafe is different to this.

On entering, there were a couple of wooden chairs and tables, a seating area against the back of the shop and a counter displaying the cakes on offer. Unfortunately, even though the cookies and marshmallows were in sealed jars, the cakes, tarts and brownies were all on open display, right by where the customers were queuing to order. There was the quirky chocolate brick wall counter. The music started off low but then got a bit too loud and overpowering.

Onto the hot chocolates, they are made from shavings of chocolate and come as plain or flavoured. Initially, the Orangeytang took my fancy but I was told that they had run out of this one. On recommendation from the friendly staff, the Cinnamon Rose was chosen. It felt like an adventurous choice and I was not sure whether I should have gone for the safe original Madagascar 61% chocolate.

The Cinnamon Rose hot chocolate was divine. It was like a liquid “Turkish Delight”. The rose flavour was delicate, just to my liking and the chocolate was 61% dark chocolate. Instead of soya milk, Jaz & Jul’s Chocolate House serves almond milk. The almond milk worked really well with the rose and cinnamon flavours. The hot chocolate was smooth, very moreish and not heavy. There is also the option of having coconut whipped cream.

There are some interesting twists to the hot chocolates on the menu. The Caramelicious has a lime twist; the Raspberry Dream has lavender with the berries; the Quite White has peppercorns with white chocolate. The drinking chocolates are available in boxes to purchase to take home.

Jaz & Jul’s Chocolate House was lovely in terms of the hot chocolate but it would be nice if there were cosy sofas and light music to make the atmosphere more relaxing.

Jaz & Jul’s Chocolate House, 1 Chapel Market, London, N1 9EZ

Rating: ★★★½☆

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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: ★★★★★

Cilicia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoSquare Meal

The Waiting Room – Whetstone

Reviewed on May 10th, 2015 by Dina

A slightly different take on a cafe, The Waiting Room teams itself with its small home furnishing store. The Waiting Room is a really cute cafe adorned with fairy lights, dressers lined with lamps, frames, tealights and flowers. A garland of hearts decorates the cafe window. Stars hang above the lamps and small chandeliers also make up the lighting.

At the back of The Waiting Room, there are a few cosy seats. The rest of the cafe is made up of table and chairs. The soft lighting and jazz music create a lovely ambiance. Even though the cafe was busy, it was not noisy. There was a gentle hum about the place.

The staff were friendly and not intruding. They provided excellent personal service. The Waiting Room seemed to have its regular customers with the staff taking time out to chat to them. It made it feel like the staff were caring.

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As I was seated at the back of the cafe, I was next to the kitchen. It looked clean and compact. There was not much noise from the kitchen and hence it did not impact on the atmosphere.

The tea that caught my eye was the rooibos with cherry. The tea was from the Little Sparrow range of loose teas. A heavy silver teapot with its own stand contained the tea. There was a traditional feel to the teaware. Small flowers decorated the teacup and saucer.

The aroma of the cherry was strong from the loose tea. Sometimes teas can be a letdown, as in they do not taste as good as they smell. With this Little Sparrow tea, the taste of the cherry with the rooibos was divine. The staff had no problem refilling my tea when the pot was empty.

The Afternoon Tea continued with the silver theme and it was presented on a square silver cake stand. Squares of soft bread, one filled with classic cucumber and the other with cheese and pickle were the fresh sandwiches. It was nice to have a combination of white and brown bread.

The two small fruit scones were delightful. The attention to detail really made the Afternoon Tea at The Waiting Room great. Shot glasses with teaspoons contained thick clotted cream and strawberry jam. Whole pieces of strawberry made the jam more special.

The last of the cakes were the macaroon and chocolate brownie. The almond macaroon was perfectly crispy on the outside with a chewy texture and creamy filling. Rich, gooey and moist made up the intense chocolate brownie. Just to make it more indulgent it was lovely to have it with a little bit of the clotted cream and jam.

The Waiting Room gives a ray of sunshine to a dull rainy day. It definitely brought me that happy feeling. It is a gem of a place and I am excited to introduce my friends to the wonderful world of The Waiting Room!

The Waiting Room, 50-52 Totteridge Lane, Whetstone, London, N20 9QJ

Rating: ★★★★☆

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