Saturday, 28 September 2013

UNION STREET CAFE

So here's one of my latest impulsive reservation bookings - eager to check out for myself what all the buzz and excitement was about. Gordon Ramsey's 10th opening in Britain - looks like I've still got a few to catch up on.

We arrived at the restaurant a bit earlier than expected after wandering about for a bit. The streets of London are always so quiet on a Sunday, and Mr D finally gave in to my persistent hungry cries. 
A hungry (wo)man is an angry (wo)man.

 

 

 



We were seated in the middle of the dining area, getting a view of the kitchen and bar area on opposite sides.
Not long after, the lovely waitress patiently went through the whole menu with us. Italian is unfortunately not my forte, and Mr D's excuse was his aging memory, as usual.
I do very much appreciate it when the waiters/waitresses have a thorough knowledge about the menu, and she did indeed give us a pretty good explanation of each dish.

 

 


 

Olive fritte

Because we both love olives - and even better, DEEP-FRIED olives. Stuffed with cheese. Enough said.

 

Culatello a gnocco fritto

Delicious slices of ham wrapped around fluffy doughballs - nicely presented and different from the usual lone slices of ham served on a board.

 

San Daniele ham, porcini mushrooms & parmigiano

The first element that caught my eye on the menu was not the ham, but the porcini mushroom - because mushrooms make the world go round...
As well as cheese. And broccoli. And lychee. 
Okay, weird foods that have just randomly popped into my head...
If one goes, I'm afraid the world might just come to an end...

Loved the nutty flavour of the mushrooms combined with the delicate flavour of the ham and the slightly gritty texture of the parmigiano.


Calamari fritti

Fried squid has always been one of my favourite dishes to order. The squid itself was nicely fried, and I did like the slight saltiness from the capers. 
I wasn't too keen on the huge chunky slice of tomato it was placed on, whether or not it was there for presentation purposes. Personally, I would have preferred it if it was chopped up, maybe into a nice tomato salad...
Not that it would have mattered to Mr D, the tomato hater. I shall continue to persevere in my efforts to convert him.

 

Polpo, braised borlotti & spicy Calabrian sausage

Rather disappointed with the octopus - ours was slightly charred giving it an unpleasant burnt taste, with not much other flavours to it.
There was also more borlotti beans as opposed to the almost non-existent sausage, and overall hugely lacking in that spicy 'kick' we were hoping for.
Such a shame as I always have such high hopes on octopus dishes.


Tagliolini, rabbit & provolone

Nowadays, I have become more partial towards rabbit dishes, despite my small conscience shaking its head in disapproval. Being born in the year of the rabbit and all that...
Still tastes like chicken to me.
We went for the larger portion size - common sense as we both have big appetites.
Lovely tender pieces of meat and the sauce was quite tasty without being too creamy or heavy.



Panna cotta & grappa, marinated figs

And finally for dessert. Not quite like us to order only one to share, but the panna cotta was one of the desserts that we both agreed upon.It is after all one of the truly great classic Italian desserts.
Smooth, creamy and just simple delicious.
I gobbled up all the figs as Mr D dislikes figs - blasphemy.





On the whole a pleasant and relaxing dining experience - lovely ambience and service, and I suppose I did enjoy the majority of the dishes that we ordered.
A place that I wouldn't mind visiting again, although I heard that they are fully booked up until December...
Hopefully the dishes would have undergone some tweaking by then, especially that octopus.
Guess I'll have to keep myself occupied with other foodie adventures til then, which would definitely not be hard thing to do.

And once again, credits to Mr D for some of the lovely photos. 

The Cheekster, signing out x


Square Meal

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