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

Ristorante Al Paradiso – Venice

Reviewed on June 18th, 2014 by Dina

The original place that we had in mind was a pizza place called Antico Forno. But when we arrived there, it was a take away place and we wanted somewhere with a sit down dining area.

Antico Forno was visited a couple of other lunchtimes and it did do one of the best pizzas. Big freshly cooked pizza slices with generous toppings and a tasty pizza base too. The hard part was always deciding which pizza to choose as they all looked so good. Sitting by the Grand Canal with pizza from Antico Forno, nothing could be more blissful!

Now onto Ristorante Al Paradiso which was only a short walk away from Antico Forno. Ristorante Al Paradiso was slightly hidden away in one of the side streets but not too far from the main restaurants lining the Grand Canal.

Ristorante Al ParadisoRistorante Al Paradiso SpaghettiRistorante Al Paradiso BreadAntico Forno Pizza CounterAntico Forno PizzaGrand Canal Venice

Hunger had definitely kicked in so we started off with the bread that was given. Unfortunately, the bread was quite hard and a little stale. It was quite airy and there was not much depth to it. The rolls were more like breadsticks. For the main course, the Spaghetti Al Pomodoro was had. It was an average dish. The spaghetti was cooked well and the tomato sauce was tasty.

It was nice to dine outside in the section lined with boxes of flowers. The staff were friendly and service was good. Saying that though, if you are in the San Polo area, it is more worthwhile to head to Antico Forno!

Ristorante Al Paradiso, Sestiere San Polo, 767, 30125, Venice

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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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