Posts Tagged: Gluten free restaurants London


12
Aug 13

Pescheria Mattiucci

PM

I had a bit of a tourist moment on my way to Pescheria Mattiucci. It’s actually situated on one of the most recognizable roads in North London and is slap bang opposite the travel bookshop, made famous by the film, Notting Hill. It’s also next door but one or two from the foodie heaven: Books for Cooks.

Stepping into Pescheria Mattiucci is like being welcomed into a cosy vintage-filled home. It is a family business owned by Luigi Mattiucci, with branches in Naples and Milan, it’s certainly a very unique restaurant in London – unlike no other I’ve visited.

The menu changes daily according to the catch of the day, and all dishes are cooked to authentic recipes mastered by the fisherman’s wives in Southern Italy. All fish used is wild and sustainable, with some caught in Italy, and some from the British Isles.

To start, we tried the Crudo Mediterraneo – otherwise known as the raw fish platter. It simply was a plate of thinly sliced raw fish, all beautifully fresh, serves with olive oil, fresh lemon and orange juice and a little salad. We tried tuna, ricciola, swordfish and prawns. It was really unusual but absolutely delicious and superbly fresh fish, making a really light start to the meal.

We then moved on to try the razor clams with garlic and chilli which were extremely tasty, and I found myself mopping up the delicious juices from my plate.  We also tried the Blue Scottish lobster served grilled with mashed potato. The lobster was absolutely stunning – meltingly soft and tender and fragrant with lemon and orange zest on top, and was served with some great garlicky mash.

Dining at Pescheria Mattiucci is a unique experience set in the heart of Notting Hill and well worth a visit and is an absolute must if you are a fish lover, like me. Dinner for two is around £60-75 including wine.


2
Apr 13

Theo Randall at the Intercontinental Hotel, Park Lane

Theo Randall

Theo Randall

Consistently voted one of London’s finest Italian restaurants, Theo Randall at the Intercontinental Hotel enjoys an excellent reputation and is one of the top foodie destinations in the city. Randall opened his own restaurant in 2006 having previously worked at Chez Panisse in California and obtained a Michelin star whilst working at the River Café in London.

I recently popped along for lunch to see what it was like for myself. Theo Randall occupies its own separate dining room in the hotel, which is accessed from the hotel lobby. It’s slick, modern and very glamorous and a very calm, relaxing place to stop for lunch and catch up with friends or colleagues.

The menu offers plenty of choice – so much so that we had difficulty choosing. As we took our seats, we decided to start with a glass of Prosecco whilst we took a look through the menu. Our waitress brought over a generous selection of hot snacks including little fried pieces of courgette to nibble on.

For our starter, we decided to go for two plates to share. We tried the Mozzarella di Bufula, served with marinated artichokes and peppers, and the scallops to share which were hand dived and the most enormous scallops we’ve ever seen, and probably the most delicious we’ve ever tasted.

Next, was the pasta course, which is of course optional, but we decided to give it a go. We went for the Cappelletti di vitello, stuffed pasta, filled with slow cooked veal and pancetta. The pasta is homemade, and a beautiful golden colour owing to the large number of egg yolks used in the pasta dough. The meat was full of flavour and meltingly tender.

We then moved onto our mains. I chose Turbot with capers and swiss chard. The fish was cooked absolutely perfectly and was an exceptionally good dish. My guest tried the fish stew, which she enjoyed very much indeed. The portions were extremely generous and the fish was of the very best quality.

We could not manage a dessert, which was a great shame, as the choice looked wonderful, so we finished we a good cup of coffee.

Theo Randall did not disappoint. Every dish we tried we thought was utterly delicious, extremely well executed, beautifully presented in lovely surroundings. If you try three or four courses, you should expect to pay around £100 per head. We found that there was plenty of choice and every dish we tried was most enjoyable. Theo Randall deserves every bit of its success, and we look forward to returning already.


1
Apr 13

Zoilo

Zoilo

Zoilo

Zoilo is a newly opened Argentinian restaurant situated just off of Wigmore Street in London. It is the latest venture of Alberto Abbate who runs a number of popular London restaurants and chef Diego Jacquet.

Stepping in to Zoilo through a heavy grey door and a thick, dark curtain you are instantly transported into a slick and modern Argentinian haven which is very atmospherically lit and really comes into its own in the evening. With two levels, you can sit upstairs near the bar or downstairs and watch the chefs work their magic.

The menu offers eight starters and mains, some of which may be familiar choices and some interesting regional Argentinian dishes to try too. There is plenty of choice beyond steak and the waiters were very flexible offering to chop and change choices according to guests’ preferences.

The most popular option is to start with a selection of tapas and move onto a main dish. I tried a fantastic starter of prawns al ajo, with pork belly and chorizo at £8.95, and a chicken, grilled pepper and cumin empanada at £3.50. Both were excellent and I particularly enjoyed the garlic sauce which the prawns were cooked in.

For my main course, I tried their most popular dish, ojo de bife with chimichurri, a rib eye steak with the famous Argentinian sauce which is made from a mix of wine vinegar, garlic and herbs, at £21.95. The steak was full of flavour, tender and perfectly cooked. The steak at Zoilo comes from Argentina from a select number of farms used there. They mitigate the environmental impact by using filtered water instead of bottled, and by cooking practically everything else in house.

Desserts are all homemade and were outrageously good. I tried the banana and dulce de leche ice cream, which was packed with banana chunks and thick swirls of La Salamandra dulce de leche.

For authentic Argentinian food of excellent quality superbly executed and some outstanding Argentinian wines, Zoilo is highly recommended. If you fancy being more adventurous, there are some lovely dishes to try, and if you just fancy an excellent steak with a delicious glass of wine, it is an ideal choice. 


14
Mar 13

Boquería

Boquería

Boquería

Voted best cheap eats in London for 2012, Boqueria is a smart, stylish tapas restaurant situated on Acre Lane, which runs between Clapham Common and Brixton tube stations in South London.

It is surprisingly easy to walk past the restaurant front if you don’t know where you are going, as the restaurant front is narrow, with a slick white bar running down the right hand wall. As you arrive, you are lead through to the stylish yet cosy dining room at the back of the building.

Boqueria looks very smart and contemporary, and offers a range of traditional and modern tapas. The inspiration behind the restaurant was the famous Boqueria market in Barcelona, otherwise known as El mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria. The menu offers a wide choice of tapas from the more familiar, to the contemporary, with a very large specials board to choose from too.

On a cold weekday night, Boqueria filled up very quickly. It had a lovely vibrant authentic feel – all the staff were Spanish and you could hear them chatting away. We were welcomed very warmly, and all the staff were exceptionally friendly and passionate about the food on the menu.

We started with a glass of cava each, whilst we had a look through the menu. There is plenty of choice, and the staff were very flexible, offering to help pick and choose according to our tastes and requirements. The greatest difficulty we faced was deciding on what to have – we had five dishes to share between two, which was plenty, but for the sake of our waistlines, we had to whittle down our shortlist of around a dozen dishes which had all taken our fancy.

We loved the jamón ibérico de bellota – not just any Serrano ham, as the free range pigs that end up as jamón feast on a diet of acorns. The jamón croquetas were as good as any you’ll find in Spain – having lived there several years ago, just one bite took me back to evenings spent drinking sangria accompanied by rather too many croquetas. We really enjoyed the cochinillo asado (suckling pig), which was sweet and tender and served with a lemon sorbet and sweet potato crisps, and the solomillo: pork tenderloins served with a mushroom sauce.

Tapas are generally priced at around £5-8 per dish. We thought five dishes were sufficient shared between two people. The wine list offers plenty of choice, including excellent cava and sherry. We drank the house cava, which at £4.50 a glass was excellent value, and finished with a delicious glass of Pedro Ximénez sherry at £6.20.

If you are looking for excellent quality, authentic tapas in a smart, vibrant setting, we wholeheartedly recommend Boqueria.

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