11.02.2014

ADULIS

Certainly one of the best things about London is that you can easily find any kind of food. 
I decided on Saturday night to try a restaurant in my new local area. There is not many proper restaurants is the area compared to Smithfield-Clerkenwell. In Oval it is mainly chicken fast food shops and kebabs. If you want more choice of course you can always go down to Brixton or Clapham, but for a Halloween hangover reason we wanted to stay local. 

One of the proper restaurants is Adulis who have served Eritrean cuisine since 1996. 
It sounded like the perfect option for my friends and I, as two of them were vegetarian and Eritrean is veggie friendly.
I didn't think we really needed to book for a Saturday night in Oval, but we did in case.
We arrived to Adulis and we were all very surprised to find the place packed. 
We ordered some drinks and we shared a starter while we were waiting for the main to arrive. All of us noticed the nice little smell of roasted coffee in the restaurant, it was really pleasant. 

We had humous to start, it was served with pitta bread. It was a really nice and smooth humous. At that time of the meal, we didn't know we did a mistake by ordering a starter and eating bread. 
 Chickpeas and sesame paste served with pita bread

My two vegetarian friends already tried Eritrean food in Africa, for my other friend and I, it was a new experience. We shared the mini kirchat for two people, and our veggie friends shared the Nai tsom for two people. 
The food arrived on two massive platters and were served with Injera underneath and on the side too. Injera  (also called Tatia) is leavened pancake made with sourdough of taff flour. 
 Mini kirchat, a selection of four different vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes

I liked the fact that you didn't have a knife or fork in Adulis, you had to eat with your hand and your piece of pancake. There was such a lot of food on this platter, I only regret the waiter didn't tell us what was each dish on the platter. 

We had a mix of vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes. We had beef, lamb and chicken on the platter, every meat were cooked with the perfect balance of spice in a different way. Each dish was very good but our favourite was the lamb served in the middle. All the vegetarian option were also very good and tasty. The best one was the shimbra assa: chickpeas cooked in spices, garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper and olive oil. 
Nai tsom special vegetarian - selection of vegetarian dishes selected by head chef

Overall the meal was a delight, vegetarian dishes were as good as meat dishes. I would probably take the vegetarian next time as it is more healthy. We were all very full and couldn't finish the platter, next time we won't order any starter as the injera with all different meat and vegetables was enough, especially if you had a brunch and a snack before on the same day. 
We didn't go for the coffee ceremony at the end as we were too tired, but it is definitely on our future plan for our next visit, the roasted coffee smell was very attractive and tempting.

7/10. 
Adulis
44-46 Brixton Road
London SW9 6BT
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TREDWELL'S

Recently I was trying to avoid the fuss of London's new restaurants opening, as I started to be a bit bored by the blogosphere who tweet and speak about the same most recently opened restaurant. I preferred to think outside the box, this is probably why this week I haven't eat LOBSTER. Two different restaurants opened this week, offering menu based around lobster, that is so déjà vu! I would prefer a restaurant with langoustines based menu, at least that would be a little bit different.

I wasn't planning to go to Tredwell's for the reason mentioned above but one of my friends received an invitation but she couldn't go so I thought I would give it a try. Tredwell’s is the new West End restaurant from Marcus Wareing and it is based in Covent Garden.

The restaurant looked nice but nothing very original, everything was dark: furniture and walls. My attention went straight to the mirror… I didn't like them, I don't understand why new places try to pretend they are old and authentic by adding tinted mirrors.

We started the meal with one small plate, one jar and one small bowl, they brought all of them at the same time. Just saying that annoyed me...why do restaurants make things that difficult now, I will call all those three categories "starters" on a menu.
This trend of smalls plates, nibbles, tapas, small bites, snacks, bowls, pots, jars [...] starts to be a bit ridiculous.

We ordered the pulled pork belly, ginger and apple slider, it was a mini burger. It was ok, the pulled pork was nicely cooked, only problem it was literally £2.5 for two bites of food. Pitt Cue Co which is 10 minutes walk away offers a tastier pulled pork burger for a cheaper rate per bite.
 Pulled pork belly, ginger & apple slider


This dish was my second favourite, courgette and ricotta fritters were crispy, the courgette were grated and combined together with the ricotta. The whole mix melted on the mouth easily and the pine nut butter went very well with it. 
 Courgette & ricotta fritters, pine nut butter

The dish below is probably the best example of this new ridiculous trend: the chicken liver mousse. 
In a classic restaurant the mousse would have been probably presented on a plate with a piece of bread, not at Tredwell's it was foam in a jar. 

The presentation was nice, but is it what matters the most for a customer ? No, what really matters is the taste of the food, not the design. 
This little fashionable chicken liver mousse in a jar was just horrible, not edible at all. It smelled and tasted like vomit. The chef who cooked it, forgot to take out the bile from inside the liver, the whole mousse tasted like bile. I was even surprised they brought us this mousse and nobody had tried the food in the kitchen of Marcus Wareing before serving. 
I didn't taste any bacon jam in it either.
 Chicken liver mousse, bacon jam, toast

After the disaster of the mousse which has left an horrible taste in my mouth, despite eating bread and drinking a lot of water, our main dishes arrived with our fries and "grilled' green vegetables.

The pork was nicely cooked but unfortunately I found the taste a bit bland, blame the jar of mousse. Pork was presented on top of spinach cooked in a beurre blanc sauce. 
 Pork chop, baked celeriac


"Grilled" greens were a little bit crunchy but at the same time they were very watery considering they were supposed to be grilled ! Gladly they helped to take away the bile taste from my mouth.
Grilled greens, olive oil

Chicken thigh was my favourite dish on the meal. Chicken was sticky, cripsy on the outside and moist inside. The sauce made from sweet soy and chili was the star of the dish. But you would expect it to be good for its price (£10 for two small thighs).
 Smoked sticky chili chicken thigh 

My friend as a dessert ordered the warm ginger cake, while I was having the pain perdu. The dessert was decent, I thought the pain perdu was not enough moist, and they could have found something different that crispy bacon to go on top of a pudding, something like fruits maybe.
 Warm ginger cake, caramel, cream
Pain perdu, maple cream, crispy bacon

Overall I was very disappointed by my meal at Tredwell's, the only thing that made the meal not a total disaster was the good service provided by our waiter Vincenzo and the chicken dish. Vincenzo was very professional and attentive to details, you can tell he does his job with love.
I won't be able to forget this mousse as it isn't every day you have a preview and taste of how it could be to eat your bile, thank you Tredwell's for this unforgettable experience. 

2/10.

I was invited to Tedwell's.
Tredwell's
4 Upper St Martin's Lane
London WC2H 9NY 
4a Upper St Martin's Lane, London, WC2H 9NY
4a Upper St Martin's Lane, London, WC2H 9NY
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