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.

The Waiting RoomThe Waiting Room TeaThe Waiting Room InteriorThe Waiting Room SandwichesThe Waiting Room Afternoon TeaThe Waiting Room SconesThe Waiting Room Interior 2The Waiting Room CakesThe Waiting Room Interior 3

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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Max’s – Crouch Hill

Reviewed on January 10th, 2015 by Dina

Two figures were sat by the window and as soon as I entered Max’s, I was greeted with big cheery hellos from them. They gave me the choice to pick which table to take a seat at. Soft lighting from the quirky grey mache lampshades, wooden tables with sufficient space between them and cladded walls made up the restaurant. The decor was just right with the colours and a nice touch was the few vases of roses and plants dotted around.

Let’s get onto the main event. Hot sandwiches on a cold winter’s day! There are only four items on the menu, one which is the dessert. For the veggie option, Max told us that he wanted to have something different and just as a main event as if it was a meat option. He said that he did not want the regular mushrooms, goat’s cheese, nuts and beetroot that are normally offered to vegetarians.

Max's The SpaniardMax's Ham, Egg 'n' ChipsMax's PuddingMax's InteriorMax's MenuMax's Interior 2

Instead, there is The Spaniard. Three big sweet onion croquetas together with baby gem lettuce, sweet herbs, lime pickled onions and Morunos mayo. What a wonderful combination, it definitely works! They are called croquetas because the filling is made of Bechamel sauce instead of potatoes that are used for croquettes.

The other two sandwiches went down well too. The Ham, Egg ‘n’ Chips had slow cooked ham hock and the shoestring fries had the same thinness and crispness like crisps.

To call them sandwiches really does seem like an understatement and does not do them justice. It is a real filling meal with quality ingredients. The only way to brace the hot sandwich is with hands as there is no cutlery. No side dishes are needed at all; everything you want is in the sandwich.

The sandwich comes wrapped in paper and it is kept together with an elastic band. If like myself, you can’t finish your meal, it is all ready to wrap back up in the paper to take away.

To end the meal, we did have the Pudding! The choux buns are filled with black sesame ice cream and then topped with delicious caramel and black sesame seeds. The savoury like ice cream works well with the sweetness of the caramel. The ice cream was from Gelupo.

It was really nice that Max took the time out to come and chat to us. He explained the different items on the menu and how he would change the menu whenever he came up with new combinations. All the food is made fresh on the premises including the soft foccacia bread, the fillings and the choux buns. You can tell that a lot of thought has been put into the items on the menu and that Max wants to offer something unique to his customers. The service felt very personal and we felt that we were valued as customers.

Max’s is a fantastic place to go to for his tasty sandwiches. There are cocktails, beers and wines on offer too. Just one thing that we found was that it was a little chilly in the restaurant on the evening we visited. It is exciting to see what other sandwiches are going to make it onto the menu in the future. Once you have visited Max’s, you won’t want any other type of sandwich!

Max’s, 19 Crouch Hill, London, N4 4AP

Rating: ★★★★★

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