Andy’s Taverna – Camden

Reviewed on July 9th, 2014 by Dina

Andy’s Taverna is a small cosy restaurant which has a family run feel to it. The outside is decorated with hanging flower baskets. Several attempts were made to come to this restaurant but each time they were fully booked and one of the times they were closed for a private party.

To have some variety to our meal, the Vegetarian Platter was chosen. This started with a selection of dips and a basket of bread. The houmous, tzanziki and the aubergine dip were all tasty and the bread was fresh. The portion size was generous!

Next came the main part of the platter which had a great colourful selection. Grilled vegetables included mixed peppers and aubergine. The centre piece was the vegetable moussaka. Thick vegetable slices baked with a creamy cheesy top was delicious.

Andy's Taverna Vegetable PlatterAndy's TavernaAndy's Taverna Dips

Golden crispy triangle parcels filled with spinach and feta cheese were the spanacopitta. Tender chargrilled ovals of halloumi were dotted around the platter plate. The piperies gemistes were peppers stuffed with vegetables, feta cheese and bulgur wheat.

If that was not filling enough, it all came with a big salad. Everything that we had been served at Andy’s Taverna had been cooked just right and not at all overdone.

For dessert, it was ice cream: banana, chocolate and mango sorbet. The ice cream was divine with each flavour holding its own with chunks of banana, chocolate and intense mango!

The only thing that we had issues with at Andy’s Taverna was that although the staff were friendly and the atmosphere was relaxed, the service was quite slow. There was a party dining at the same time as ourselves and so it was hard to get the attention of the staff.

At the end of the meal, the staff did apologise for the slowness. It was refreshing that they had recognised that they could have been swifter with the service and did not need us to mention it to them.

The cuisine at Andy’s Taverna is of great taste and quality. Hopefully, the slow service was just a one off!

Andy’s Taverna, 81-81a Bayham Street, Camden, London, NW1 0AG

Rating: ★★★½☆

Andy's Taverna on UrbanspoonSquare Meal

Baan Thai – Kentish Town

Reviewed on May 27th, 2014 by Dina

Colourful striped walls, long benches and a metal floor make up this small restaurant, Baan Thai. It feels a bit like a canteen.

The vegetarian Red Curry was chosen mainly due to it being less spicy than the Green Curry. Aubergine, tofu, bamboo shoots, shredded carrots, peppers and green beans were the main components of the curry. I asked for the addition of potatoes just for something a little different.

Baan ThaiBaan Thai Red CurryBaan Thai Interior

The Red Curry was mild and had lots of vegetables. It is a shame that it lacked the creaminess of the coconut milk. The side of rice was cooked well and there was enough rice to accompany the curry.

Baan Thai is an informal, clean Thai restaurant which has a nice family run atmosphere to it. The service was good, the food was cooked fresh and the staff were friendly.

Baan Thai, 18 Fortess Road, Kentish Town, London, NW5 2HB

Rating: ★★★½☆

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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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